Arrest Made in Hit and Run Death

NORTH CENTRE TOWNSHIP–A man who was riding his bicycle home from work in Columbia County was hit and killed. According to police, the driver took off.

The suspected driver was arrested yesterday, and investigators believe he was under the influence when he was behind the wheel.

Police in Briar Creek Township near Berwick say 18-year-old Joseph Rish had a blood-alcohol level that was over the legal limit when he hit and killed a man yesterday morning, and did not stop. Rish told police he thought he hit a deer.

Neighbors remember Robert Mohr as a friendly man who was always riding his bicycle. Mohr was doing just that early Sunday morning, when he was hit and killed by an SUV along Ridge Road near Berwick.

“He was a nice guy. He would wave and I’d wave back. He just did his thing and rode his bike a lot,” Joseph Toscano said.

Just hours after the hit and run, police arrested 18-year-old Joseph Rish of Berwick.

Police say Rish had been drinking alcohol with a friend in Bloomsburg. He borrowed a friend’s SUV and drove to his sister’s home at Brookside Village, a mobile home park near Berwick where Mohr also lived. Police say Rish hit Mohr about a mile away.

Rish told police he thought he hit a deer and he did not stop because he did not have a valid driver’s license and he had been drinking alcohol.

“The question today that’s in my mind is if that vehicle would have stopped and got emergency help, he could have been living,” Bill Farrell said.

Bill Farrell says he will miss seeing Mohr ride his bicycle every day. He says Mohr seemed to be very cautious while riding his bike, and always wore a green reflective vest.

“When there’s traffic coming, if he’s walking his bicycle he seems to stop until all the cars go by,” Farrell said.

Joseph Rish faces a list of charges including ‘Homicide by Vehicle While Driving Under the Influence’, and ‘Driving with a Suspended License.’ He is currently locked up in Columbia County.

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