Family Questions Delay in Charges After Deadly Hit-and-Run

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WEST NANTICOKE – Two women in Luzerne County said they are frustrated and heartbroken that charges haven’t been filed against a driver, who police suspect of hitting and killing their uncle, exactly six months ago.

Jody Stadts and Joanne Marusak told Newswatch 16 that Richard Stadts was riding his bicycle on Route 11 in West Nanticoke when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver.

Troopers said Stadts was riding in the dark, he had a reflective vest and lights on the bike and the driver didn’t stop to help.

"We're having a hard time coping, even after six months, knowing the person who did this is still roaming free,” said Jody Stadts.

"The anger grows every single day, thinking that we can move on, but once the hearing comes, we are going to have to relive everything that we have gone through,” said Joanne Marusak. “The memories are there every single day."

State police named Matthew Perkins a person of interest in the deadly hit-and-run, seized the vehicle he was accused of driving and interviewed him at a home in Hunlock Creek last year.

A family member who answered the door at the home, as well as Perkin’s lawyer, declined to comment about the case.

Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis told Newswatch 16 that investigators are waiting for forensic test results before determining if Perkins will be charged in connection to the deadly hit-and-run.

According to court documents, Perkins was charged in connection to a separate crash in Wilkes-Barre last May.

According to the criminal complaint, Perkins crashed a pickup truck into two parked cars and was suspected of being under the influence of marijuana at the time of the crash.