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Bicyclist Hit, Teen Suspected Of DUI

WEST NANTICOKE — Authorities tell us one person is being questioned today on suspicion of DUI after a hit and run in Luzerne County.

Police said Matthew Perkins, 19, of Hunlock Creek was picked up Tuesday night after a witness claims he saw Perkins swerve and hit an elderly man riding a bicycle.

Richard Stadts, 73, from West Nanticoke was wearing a vest and lights when Perkins hit him. Stadts later died at the hospital.

The crash happened just before 10 p.m. along Route 11 in West Nanticoke

Authorities also said it isn’t the first time the man has been hit.

Stadts’s bicycle had the handle bars knocked around and the pedal ripped off after a driver hit him and fled the scene.

Friends and family of the 73-year-old said he rode his bicycle everywhere around the community and was nicknamed “the mayor of West Nanticoke” because of his popularity.

“He’s a great guy. An absolute great guy. He hunted and fished all his life and got devastated by the flood and working to try to get the house straightened out up there,” said friend David Kinney.

The crash happened around 9:45 Tuesday night near the Stooky’s Barbeque stand on Route 11. State Police said a witness helped track down the driver who didn’t stop by writing down the license plate of an erratic driver in the area.

Police questioned Perkins and said his vehicle sustained damage that matched the hit and run. Perkins, who was arrested back in May for public drunkenness, was given a blood alcohol test.

Stadts’s brother Donald said he owes that witness a big thank you.

“I`d like to thank him for reporting that number like I said the police were looking. We didn`t know if they`d ever find him because we have that one [in Wilkes-Barre] that they didn`t find so I`d like to thank them a lot,” said Donald Stadts.

Stadts died Wednesday afternoon at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital.

Investigators are waiting for blood alcohol test results on Perkins.

So far, no charges have been filed.


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