Judge: Pickup Truck Can’t be Evidence in Fatal Hit and Run Trial

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WILKES-BARRE -- A judge in Luzerne County has ruled that a truck police say was involved in a deadly hit and run in Wilkes-Barre, cannot be used as evidence in the upcoming trial because it was seized illegally

Judge Michael Vough ruled that a pickup truck owned by defendant Daniel Loughnane cannot be used as evidence in a trial that starts in two weeks.

According to the police report Rebecca McCallick, 19, was hit by a vehicle in July of 2012 while crossing Hazle Avenue near her home in Wilkes-Barre.

A witnesses said the vehicle was a pickup truck which sped off after hitting her.

More than two weeks later, police seized Loughnane's Ford pickup, after they said it matched the description given to police from witnesses.

But Judge Vough ruled since Wilkes-Barre police took the pickup before obtaining a search warrant, the seizure was invalid, and the pickup cannot be used as evidence.

"Fundamentally, the decision does not help the prosecutors, and fundamentally it's certainly a help to us," said Peter Paul Olszewski, who is Loughnane's attorney.

Luzerne County District Attorney Stephanie Salavantis is not commenting on where her office goes from here in the case scheduled to begin in two weeks.


  • Mike Oxalong

    The fact that this has been going on for almost 2 years says one thing: they are not sure what’s going on. While making assessments of the situation, keep in mind that if they were solidly sure of anything this would have been done and over with long ago. There is only one thing that is an absolute here and it’s that somewhere along the line somebody dropped the ball. It seems they’ve taken the wrong route and/or they’ve got the wrong person. Otherwise, there would be no sense in dragging their feet the way they have.

  • Bob from Plains

    Grow up people. The cops dropped the ball. They know it, the DA knows it, the Judge knows it. How can YOU be so sure of the facts in the case unless you are a gutless witness who wont go to the police or an armchair/closet lawyer.

  • iiiiirepoiiiii

    2 Things here people!

    This is America and we all here are Innocent until proven guilty!
    (And yes even innocent people go to jail!)

    And the seizure was illegal so thank you to the judge for upholding the constitution!

  • CCKM

    Loughnane may have friends in high places, or be related to cops. We don’t know for sure. But I know in our area two druggie-thieves-troublmaking-losers have parents in law enforcement and they have slippery-eel syndrome.

  • Sean Christian Homes

    Something VERY unjust about this. Investigate the truck is what true justice is about. The police, if they did seize it without a warrant, should have cops lose their job, but the truck SHOULD be investigated. You don’t just throw that out based on a procedure issue. That’s total b.s. and lacks common sense which is what LAW is supposed to be about.
    They got to stop throwing stuff out based on BS and just fire people for procedure issues.
    Doesn’t this judge think about this woman? How about the law? What a stupid country this to let key evidence go. How can such a gray area exist when a person got hit like that?
    Wake up… and to that punk Olszewski who is happy that the truck won’t make an appearance should be ashamed of himself. You think your legal win scorecard will mean anything to anyone? Are you happy you got a potential hit and runner a potential win? How do you sleep at night?

    • ryry

      Because if they didn’t have that law, the cops could just walk into your home, and take whatever they want and say this is evidence. All they had to do was go to a judge, ask for a search warrant, and tell him why they thought it was him. They obtained it illegally so it was thrown out.

  • Jim Brony

    So, who is Daniel Loughnane friends with, or what information does he have against the judge or his friends? Going on two years and still no trial? Unbelievable.

  • Me

    What a complete lack of discipline from a police dept. sounds like a big giant cover up to keep this person out of jail !!!
    Corruption runs rampant in luzerne county

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