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New Details in Deadly Hit and Run Case

BUCKINGHAM TOWNSHIP — Court papers are providing new insight into the investigation of a deadly hit and run in Wayne County.

The driver who hit and killed a young man Friday night may be the victim’s cousin.

On Monday, troopers were back at the scene on Route 191 in Buckingham Township near the New York state line. Investigators were driving the same path taken Friday night by the vehicle that killed a 19-year-old volunteer firefighter.

Zachary Possemato of Hancock, NY died after a vehicle hit him while he was walking back home from a smoke-shop on the PA side.

A 10-year-old friend was with him.

“We were talking, then when the truck came, I moved over, and before I could say his name so he could move, he was already hit,” said Robby Vessecchia.

Robby is still shaken by the hit and run crash that troopers said threw the victim, Possemato, 30-to-40 yards.

The boy told police it was a white pickup truck with yellow lights, according to court papers. Surveillance video from the smoke shop showed a truck driving by at the time of Friday’s night’s crash.

The next morning, the owner of a white pickup came to state police, saying he thought he hit a deer on the drive home to PA. Troopers filed search warrants and seized Jason Day’s truck and impounded at the barracks near Honesdale.

State police also took blood samples from Day who told troopers he is Possemato’s cousin. Court papers indicate that Day admitted to having four 16-ounce beers before driving that night and smelled of alcohol the next day.

The coroner ruled Possemato’s death a homicide by vehicle saying that if the driver had stopped, perhaps it would be an accident. But because he didn’t, the manner of death is homicide.

There’s still a memorial for Possemato at the scene of the crash and no charges have been filed as the investigation continues.

As for Robby Vessecchia’s family, they’re thankful he wasn’t hurt because of someone else’s mistake.

“It was pretty close, thank god he didn’t get hit, still a tragedy that Zack got hit,” said Brad Kimmel of Hancock, NY.

37 comments

  • Khrystal

    listen i know Zack personally and i know the hancock area very well, in the area where he got hit there are no sidewalks and obviously if he was walking with a ten year old, he would have been on the outside near traffic in case something like this really did happen to protect the little boy. Zack always looked out for everyone and did whatever he could to out others before himself. jason shouldn’t have been drinking and driving but there was a good point made that in that area there are no cabs so if you’re going to a bar you should have a designated driver. it was an accident- why would someone purposely hit their own cousin with a truck going over the speed limit? cmon now, no matter how much you dislike someone in your family theres always going to be the love there. I don’t think he did it on purpose and accidents do happen but i think he should have at least stopped to see what (or in this case who) he hit. even if it was a deer at least he would have known for sure. its a good thing he turned himself in but the question is, did he do it because he saw it and realized what he did, or did he do it so someone else wouldnt turn him in? i believe he did it because he realized it was his cousin. its a very tough time for the family and friends of Zack.
    I just want to end this note by asking if you don’t know either the driver or Zack, don’t stick your nose in and try to put the blame on someone especially if you don’t know the area it happened or the full story. let the police do their jobs and investigate, they’ll get to the bottom of it and when they do we’ll all have some type of closure. I LOVE YOU ZACK, RIP BUD FLY HIGH!!

    • Tee

      He was drinking! How stupid can you be? And you get behind the wheel?!! You are another asshole!!!!!

      • khrystal

        first of all i know he was drinking so theres no need for the attitude. i didnt say it wasnt his fault and i didnt say that its okay i just said that there are no cabs or anything in the area so if someones going out to drink their obviously going to drive back also. im not going to sit on an internet page thats about my friends death and argue with someone its disrespectful. so im ending this now. bye

    • Tc

      That’s my Niece, her brother Zachary, you are telling me that I am being disrespectful? Drink and drive don’t mix, It Kills People!

  • prayers

    As some do not seem to realize… these two were cousins. Right or wrong someone is dead. There are probably a lot of factors that are not known andall of these things will come out in the end. This says he admitted to drinking….does anyone know if this is fact? Let the police do there jobs and let the families greive without this back and forth nonsense. R.I.P Zach!!!

  • M

    I feel awful for all families involved. It was a bad decision for the driver to drink and drive. If I hit a deer (which I have done a time or two) I stop to make sure my car is drivable. Its common sense that if you hit something you would stop right? My heart aches for that little 10 year old boy who was with him. That poor child with live with this imagine in his head forever. Where were the parents of this child? Why would a 10 year old be walking on a busy road, in the rain, in the dark to a smoke shop? I know pointing fingers and what “if’s” are going to bring Zach back. For now we just need to pray for all involved. God bless your Zachary.

  • JJ

    I know the driver personally, and I am telling you that if he for one second KNEW that he hit a person he would have stopped, he would have maned up and taken responsibility for his actions, which is why when he realized what had happened the next day, he went to the police asap. ANYONE could have been involved in this accident, with or without beer. Any small distractions can cause a driver to take his/her eyes off the road. The weather was bad, it was in the evening and there is not any good lighting in that area. Also, where were the boys walking? It doesn’t seem the truck went off the road with all the rain we had; wouldn’t there be tracks? The damage is on the front of the truck. If they were on the side of the road, would’t the damage be on the right side of the truck? I am not an investigator, and neither is anyone else on here (just making some observations), so I pray the investigators are thorough and find out the true story…. This is just so unfortunate for all families and friends involved in this community. My heart goes out to everyone

    • L

      Again, this was no accident. It was a decision to drink and drive and this is the well-known repercussion of it. This is the reality. It was also no “distraction” and certainly not the pedestrians fault. Poor lighting? There are headlights on the truck are there not? Bad weather? The driver smelled of alcohol the next morning – perhaps he had to go home and sleep it off before turning himself in figuring that someone would know his truck and give him up to the police? That is certainly what it appears to be. The excuses in this forum are ridiculous. It is unfortunate that a young man was killed, a young boy traumatized, a life forever changed and family, friends and a community grieving. But it was no accident.

  • DaydreamBeliever

    Pennsylvania state troopers responded to an atv accident the following night. There were beer cans all over the road and the driver was obviously impaired but the police told him and his intoxicated passenger to go home and go to bed. Wayne county needs a a major change in it’s judicial system!

  • Hope

    First of all, this is a horrible tragedy on so many different levels. I am in no way , shape, or form condoning impaired driving, driving is a serious responsibility and people seem to forget that. I do want to make an observation though. Within a 10 mile radius of Hancock, off the top of my head, I can think of 12 different bars. That’s correct, a dozen, and I am not even a regular drinker. Within the same radius, there is 1 pharmacy, 1 grocery store (2 if you count Preston Market), 5 gas stations. Does anyone else notice that sure, the guy is responsible for driving while unable to, but that the prevention could have started a looooooong time back? Every year, at least one of our young people is lost to a tragedy related to drugs or alcohol, and the same blame game gets tossed back and forth, when in reality if the same effort was put into making real change, it might at least put a dent in the pattern? In small towns, there is always squabbling going on, but the bottom line is that these kids are OUR kids, not strangers you’ve never laid eyes on. Let’s stop pointing fingers and support BOTH of these suffering families.

  • jbrony

    No, you’re not insensitive, just stupid. There is a law in PA where pedestrians have the right of way, period. There’s also another law that says you’re not supposed to drive drunk too, but obviously this didn’t work either.

  • Skeptic

    You can’t criticize someone, then follow it up by saying you aren’t criticizing, and think it’s still ok to say. You were absolutely trying to say that what the kid did was wrong. Why didn’t he call it in himself or run to the nearest house? Maybe he didn’t have a phone. Maybe there wasn’t a house nearby, or he was scared to run to a stranger’s house, or didn’t want to leave his friend, or just plain didn’t know what to do BEACUSE HE’S 10 YEARS OLD. I don’t care what you and “plenty of people” are wondering. Apparently you and “plenty of people” need to find better things to wonder about. Do you really think it’s some sort of kiddie conspiracy? Or that the kid should be thrown in juvie for not acting adult enough after watching someone die violently?

  • Ann

    This is a tragedy for everyone especially people close to the family because they’re losing one man to death and the other to jail time. Saying it is not a mistake because he chose to drink and drive is hypocritical nonsense. I’m sorry but anyone who is over that age of 21 can not tell me they have never gotten in the car after drinking, whether it be 2 beers or more. It happens! No ones a saint. The mistake that was made was deciding to leave the accident. This was an ACCIDENT that could have happened to anyone. Especially on that turn! Whether it be driving to or from Tinks or Lydia’s or bars in Hancock, their are no cabs in this town and unless you plan on finding a friend to drive you or walking 10 miles, you’re driving! I’m sorry but that’s the truth! Regardless, this could have happened to literally anyone, it’s just terrible that it had to be family.

    • jbrony

      Wrong, wrong, wrong, Ann. It was a preventable accident – the driver chose to drink to the point of impairment and then chose to drive. This makes him responsible for the death of another. Nobody is talking about being a saint and not drinking at all. Your attitude of “It happens” sickens me and makes me fear for my family and loved ones. I’ll make it real simple for you and any other idiot that chooses to drink and drive: STOP IT, before you kill someone. Drink at home, or find a driver.

      • Ann

        Judging me when you do not know me and assuming that I drink and drive is stupid on your part, because I do not. I’m just saying that people do and around here it’s not uncommon. Also my attitude is completely resonable because it could happen to anyone who drinks and drives. It was idiotic to drink an drive and I never said he was not responsible for zacks death either. He absolutely was. What I’m saying is people do drink to the point of impairment and drive all the time and until something as tragic as this happends everyone acts as if it’s Okay to do so, then when something like this does something like this they act like its fine to say what a terrible and disgusting person the driver is as if they’ve never made a discussion to drive home drunk. Also if the person driving was a close family member of yours or anyone else’s they would have different views. It’s easy to judge someone’s character when you don’t know them personally.

    • yancey

      I can say I never have. Life is all about choices we make. Sadly, this choice was very costly for many people. I don’t drink, but I am not going to condemn the person that does. The problem is that they have to be smarter or pay for poor choices. Unfortunately a lot of people are paying for this one.

    • Your mom

      Drinking and driving is a choice and you learn at a very young age it’s wrong and after all the people we have lost in this community to drinking and driving accidents you would think people would learn! Sad some people have to learn the hard way and kill someone before they realize they have a problem and try and fix it. Guarantee if he ever gets out of prison for this he goes right back to the same bad habits because frankly that’s all that people in that town do is drink and do drugs. Maybe his community needs to spend some money and try and offer more help to people for addiction to drugs and alcohol Instead worryin about chicken bar b ques and sporting events and stop acting all surprised everytime someone gets killed!

      • Abby

        Who made you GOD ? I live in Hancok and I don’t drink or do drugs How dare you put everyone from our town in your no good mouth.If Hancok is so bad why do you come to Hancock and if you live here you should move .This is not a way that people should show they care for both people and their families. And before you judge anyone you better look in your own back yard.The only one that can judge people is GOD and your far from that .

    • L

      Call this what it is – vehicular homicide – not an “accident.” People are judging the driver’s choice not his character. And as long as people keep hiding behind the excuses that there are too many bars in the area, no cab service and whatever other excuse they can muster, they will continue to drink and drive and die. Again, prevention is being responsible.

    • L

      Hypocritical is defending the driver for killing someone by making excuses because he is known, and liked, within the community. If he were an unknown outsider, it would be a completely different attitude being displayed towards the driver. THAT is hypocritical!

  • L

    One does not mistake a person, let alone TWO people for a deer unless that person is grossly impaired. However, the way the article is written, states the driver “thought” he hit a deer. Obviously he didn’t see anything/anybody. Law enforcement will finish their investigation and justice will prevail. When will people learn not to drink and drive? Tragedy has struck two families and left a young boy traumatized. What a shame. It was totally preventable.

  • Pamela

    well if he was not drink and drive that teenager would still be here i have a few ? why its that person who was driving drunk not arrest for dui and leaving the scence of the crime and it is saying it ok to go out here and drink and drive and kill people it is very wrong crack down on people like this the police are arrest drug people and put them behind bar this world is coming to an end bc people dont care

  • Dj

    I knew himhe was an awsome person if the man was drunk he should have called a cab or have a friend drive him home and he must have been going over the speed limit for that to happen so r.i.p. zack we will miss you and i will miss you

    • Your mom

      And you know this how? You seen it happen? Just curious how our getting you information! Seems everyone knows everything in this town!

      • Extremely annoyed local

        I am from Hancock, born and raised. Just some food for thought, just because brads 10 year old was involved doesn’t mean he knows. He was not there, he doesn’t know where either kid was standing or how the driver was driving. He also doesn’t know if he was drunk. Maybe he should be more concered about his son being on 191 in the rain and dark with no side walks. I sure know my child wouldn’t be walking that road, especially to a smoke shop. Start worrying about your parental choices and let the judicial system do their job. Last time I checked, brad isn’t even educated in criminal justice, and shouldn’t be making any decisions for law enforcement. A 10 year old is not even a reliable witness, and with the parents he has his story has probably changed more then once. I have a son around his child’s age in school and his 10 year old told my son that Zach was in the road and pushed him out of the way.. Not the story on the news? He’s 10 and traumatized, he probably will need a lot of support not all this negativity.

        Some of these peoples attitudes and theories make me sick. And go ahead come back with “drunks defend drunks” because I do not drink ever. If I have 1 drink a year that’s a lot.

        I pray Zach’s family is getting through this as easy as possible, if that’s even possible and I pray Jason’s family keeps him close and prevents him from harming himself from guilt and due to all this bullying. Every person deserves to do the time for the crime, but these hypocritical low lives are making it worse then necessary.

        I’m beginning to think a lot of people just want pity instead of justice… I now know why I try not to follow this story. I can not handle the idiots who all of a sudden have a degree in criminal justice.

  • Abby

    The accident on 191 the hit and run one .This is not the first time this happened ,years ago another man was killed there also .That part of the road needs pole lights,it was pouring rain and dark outside .My question is if the ten year old seen the truck and moved to the side of the road ,why didn’t the other see the truck and also move to the side of the road .The way the picture looks of the truck he must of been close to the middle of the road .It is sad that both well known families are hurting and that this could be avoided ,just not by the driver but the person to be walking in the road .

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