Man denies involvement in hit-and-run crash — despite driving off with victim’s torso in car
A Pennsylvania man denies involvement in a hit-and-run crash that severed a woman’s body, but police say they found half of the victim’s body in his car.
Police said 33-year-old Jose Antonio Santiago, of Allentown, struck two women about 9 p.m. Sunday as the pair walked along the shoulder of a road in Hanover Township, reported The Express-News.
The vehicle struck 62-year-old Anna Lewis with such force that her body was cut in half at the waist, police said.
Her sister, 51-year-old Rosalie Carlo, of Brooklyn, New York, suffered a broken arm and other injuries in the crash, but she is expected to recover, investigators said.
Police said Santiago drove away from the crash but left behind his 2003 Saab 9-5’s right side mirror, front grill, right headlight, and part of a window.
He also drove off with the “upper portion of a body” in the passenger-side floorboard, police said.
Officers spotted the damaged car parked about 90 minutes after the crash, and investigators said the remains were confirmed as belonging to Lewis.
Police found Santiago about two hours after that, and officers said he smelled like alcohol and had reddish “body matter” on his right pants leg.
He admitted to drinking at an Allentown bar before leaving to drive a friend home, but he denies hitting anyone.
“I had looked on WFMZ News and seen there was a hit-and-run accident,” he told police. “I didn’t hit anyone. I would’ve stopped. I’m not a bad person.”
Lewis’ sister disagrees.
“I hope he rots in hell,” Carlo said. “It’s not right. My sister was a good woman.”
Santiago remains jailed on $275,000 bond on one felony count of an accident involving injury or death, a misdemeanor count of the same charge, and a summary count of driving on roadways laned for traffic.
Watch video from the crash scene posted online by The Express-News: