Driver Who Hit DPW Worker Admits Guilt

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SCRANTON -- The man accused of a hit and run that left a Scranton DPW worker with critical injuries has pleaded guilty.

Maxwell Hatala of Old Forge pleaded guilty last week to six different charges relating to the 2015 hit and run crash, including accidents involving death or serious injury and insurance fraud.

According to court papers, Hatala had been, "at an all-night drinking party." He left and drove around for a few hours before telling police he hit a garbage truck on South Main Avenue, then drove away and hid the vehicle off Connell Street in Old Forge.

Police said Hatala hit Steve Pierson while he was working, pinning him to the garbage truck and causing critical injuries.

Investigators said Hatala admitted to staging a fake crash to cover up his crime, going so far as to steal a hubcap to replace the one he lost on his vehicle and filing a "false insurance claim" and a police report.

He will be sentenced in a few months and faces 17 years in prison.