Volunteer Firefighter Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver

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BUCKINGHAM TOWNSHIP -- Devastated over the news of his death, friends of Zachary Possemato, 19, placed his tackle box and fishing pole near the spot where he lost his life along Route 191 in Wayne County.

State Police say Friday night, as the sun was setting, the young man from Hancock, New York, which is just across the river, stopped at a Smokin' Joe's, a tobacco store.

Investigators believe a white pickup truck hit the victim as he walked toward home alongside a 10-year-old friend.

Joe Roubera says, "He was like my brother. I have known him my whole life."

Another friend, Savanna Mills, says, "He pretty much loved everybody. He tried to put everybody before his own happiness, and he did what he could for people."

A foster child at 4, adopted at 6, family members say their beloved brother, son, and cousin had a bright future and was a volunteer firefighter serving in the same department where his father drove an ambulance.

When we spoke with Zachary's cousin, Brianna McGraw, she pleaded for the driver to step forward. She says, "Give us the decency of letting us know something."

That wish, at least, appears to have come true.

Detectives say, Saturday morning, a Pennsylvania man in his 30's came to the station believing he was responsible.  At the time, he was not arrested or charged, however police did take a blood sample and impounded his truck as the investigation continues.

An autopsy is scheduled for Sunday.

Detectives expect charges to be filed in the days ahead.


  • Ann

    It so easy to judge ones character after a horrific accident like this. All I can say is everyone has their opinions but also “if” alcohol was involed everyone needs to get their noses out of the air and stop acting like they’ve never drank and drove because that’s a bunch of crap. I’m not sticking up for the driver I’m just saying everyone has the ability to make that mistake. It was a terrible decision to leave the accident obviously there is not question about that. But it is hard on both families not equally as hard but still it’s a tragity that effects a whole community and the two people involed are well known. It’s bad enough a boy lost his life everyone needs to stop adding fuel to the fire. Justice will be served and the person who did this will have to carry that guilt with him for the rest of his life.

  • Brad

    Just to let everyone know it was my son he was walking with and he DID NOT push him out of the way. They were talking on the way home and in the blink of an eye it happened. Neither one had time to react.

  • shannon osborne

    I knew zack through my 3 neices he was a great kid who saved a lil boys life n lost his gosh ppl have some respect for his family its sad that some of these comments are makin me sick grow up n let him rip n his family greive gone but never forgotten yur.always gonna b a,hero zack RIP

  • ML

    Trust me I do know the area I grew up there. I also do know the facts. I also know the family well. Like I said I am extremely sorry for the family’s loss. I’m just giving my opinion. Sorry if you don’t like it. But is was a long walk .

    • A

      If u know the area, it’s not that far it just over the bridge from hancock. It’s not like the 10 yr old was alone. He was with a 19 yr old. Know your facts. Stop judging

  • ML

    I am so sorry for your loss. This is horrible.
    I do have one question what kind of parents let a 10 year old walk at 8:30 at night that far? I’m sorry to bring this up but we all are wondering this. I know you might think I’m being insensitive, I’m not. Let’s think about the little boy that witnesses the tragedy. He is 10 years old. Everything that happened he is just an extremely sad situation.

  • MisterPL

    So glad that Zachary had found happiness in a family that chose to embrace him as their own. He returned the love he got and was taken far too soon. My sincerest condolences to all who were fortunate enough to have him in their lives, however briefly.

  • Nancy

    So sad. There must be more to this story also. It’s ironic that he was stopping at a tobacco store.

  • lar

    Nobody knows if the person driving that truck was drunk or not. I personally know that person who was driving the truck and I also knew the victim. Both families r devastated. So let’s keep the negative comments to yourself Ted.

    • shagtastique

      What? Keep the negative comments to one’s self because you know both families? And they’re both devastated? It’s understandable that Mr. Possemato’s family is devastated, because he was snatched from life by the pure unadulterated carelessness and selfishness of the driver. Now, let’s see why that driver’s family might be devastated. Because they know they raised and are related to someone so despicable? Well they – the driver’s family – can ease their own devastation by reporting EXACTLY what they know even if it includes turning in their dear relative. They can be part of the problem or be part of the solution. They must choose.

      • S

        You must be unable to read as someone turned himself in. Nothing is as cut and dry as you would like to believe. The guy could have been driving along, not seen a person at all, hit something and assumed it was a deer. Probable? No. But possible? Yes. So imagine that this person just now realizes what he hit was a PERSON and that person died. Yes, this is devastating. This person will live with a tremendous amount of guilt and his family will be devastated because someone they love now has to live with such devastating consequences. Often times we only think of the victim’s family in an accident like this but the reality is that they are not the only family involved.

        Don’t be so heartless and disgusting. I hope a tragedy never happens to anyone who is being so negative. You won’t be able to handle the aftermath.

    • SRV

      Well, since you don’t “own” this forum, you will have to be subject to comments you don’t wanna see just like everyone else!

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