82-Year-Old Driver Charged in Deadly Northumberland Hit and Run

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NORTHUMBERLAND, Pa. -- Police in Northumberland County say they have the driver behind a deadly hit-and-run crash earlier this year.

Wayne Wetzel, 82, from Sunbury, was arraigned Tuesday morning on charges including homicide by vehicle.

Police say on August 17, Wetzel did not stop at a stop sign at the intersection of Orange and Second Street in Northumberland and hit and killed Ronald Clark, 71, of Northumberland.

According to court papers, video from the nearby police department shows Wetzel did not stop at a stop sign and hit Clark with his SUV.

Clark died from his injuries about a week later.

Clark's friends remember him fondly.

"Loved the town, just a great guy, just a great guy. He said hello to everybody. Everybody said hello to him," said Linda Williard.

Police say Wetzel's children called police and Wetzel admitted to hitting Clark and driving away.

He faces a list of charges including accidents involving death or personal injury and homicide by motor vehicle.

Friends and family of both Clark and Wetzel packed the courtroom as Wetzel was arraigned and gave up his right to a preliminary hearing.

Ronald Clark was known by many in Northumberland. Faye Gaugler was his caretaker for 18 years.

"There's just no words for Ron. There really isn't. He was just special," Gaugler said.

"Oh, he was wonderful. He was the sweetest man. He always had a smile, always was happy," Linda Williard said.

Police say Wetzel's children called police and Wetzel admitted to hitting Clark and driving away.

He faces a list of charges including accidents involving death or personal injury and homicide by motor vehicle.

Clark's friends who were at the hearing tell Newswatch 16 they want to see Wetzel punished, but they don't want to see him go to jail.

"Something, something," Williard said. "No jail time. It would be fruitless and almost inhumane to him."

"Maybe some sign of an apology or something. He looks like he's struggling physically," Gaugler said.

Wetzel gave up his right to a preliminary hearing. He is out on bail.

His attorney tells Newswatch 16 his driver's license was taken away by PennDOT after the incident.

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