Police: East Hopewell man struck bicyclist with truck while drunk
An East Hopewell Township man admitted to police that he was too drunk to drive when he hit a bicyclist with his truck at more than 70 mph in North Hopewell Township early last year, according to police.
State police say that Daniel Paul Loder, 23, did not want to check his mirrors because he did not want to know what happened after striking the bicyclist on March 10, 2017.
Loder, of the 7000 block of Hickory Road, is charged with aggravated assault, aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI, aggravated assault by vehicle, accidents involving death or personal injury, DUI, accidents involving damage to attended vehicle, and summary traffic citations.
Crash: Police sent to Lowe Road near the intersection of Barrens Road about 7 p.m. that day found the victim lying on the road, severely injured, according to officials.
The victim was airlifted to York Hospital, where he was found to have suffered a traumatic brain injury and multiple rib fractures. Authorities described his injuries as life-threatening at the time.
It wasn't until close to 10:30 p.m. the next day that Loder contacted police, charging documents state. He told officials he thought he struck a deer, police said.
In June 2017, a crash reconstruction was done, indicating there was no mechanical failure during the crash and that Loder was going just more than 70 mph right before hitting the bicyclist, according to police.
The victim was thrown about 220 feet from the impact, court documents state.
Spoke to police: Loder and a woman who was with him that night went to talk to authorities on March 12, 2017, documents state.
The woman told police that Loder was very drunk the night of the incident, officials said.
She said Loder called her about 7:40 p.m. the night of the crash and told her he was coming to her house and would see her when she got home from Walmart, documents state.
When she arrived home, Loder told her about striking a deer, police said.
Loder put the truck in her garage for the night, according to officials.
Afterward, he told her that he saw a man on a bike before he heard the thud but wasn't sure if he hit the bicyclist because he was so drunk, police said. The woman told police that Loder said he was scared and then left, according to officials.
The next day, Loder's sister called and told him about a news article regarding the incident, which prompted Loder to contact authorities, charging documents state.
Police spoke with Loder separately, during which he told police that he believed he had struck a deer, and that when he saw the damage done to his car, he thought the deer must have been "pretty big," officials said.
Trooper Patrick Loughman said he knew Loder wasn't telling the truth, prompting Loder to cry, court documents state.
Confession: Loder said he was scared, and he told Loughman that his story was going to be different from everyone else's because he never told them the truth, officials said.
Loder told police that he was on his way home after leaving an acquaintance's home, where he had drunk three beers and four shots, court documents state.
He was traveling west on Lowe Road when he dropped his phone, police said he told them. He bent down to pick up his phone, taking his eyes off the road, and when he looked up he was in the middle of the road, according to police.
He saw a blur of what looked to be a bicycle, then felt a bump, causing Loder to go into a panic, officials said.
"Loder related from what he saw when making impact with the bicyclist, that it was already too late and he did not even want to check his mirrors," Loughman wrote in charging documents.
Loder said he did not want to know what happened, and then he made a brief stop at a stop sign before continuing to the woman's home, officials said. When asked if he was too intoxicated to drive, he said yes, according to charging documents.
Police say Loder tried to avoid the bicyclist, who was in the middle of the road, and that the bicyclist tried to move out of the way to avoid the crash.
He also admitted to bringing the truck to the woman's house to hide it from the road, which he said was stupid because the back of the woman's property could be seen from Interstate 83, documents state.
Charges for Loder were filed Thursday, May 17, and he was arraigned on the charges that day. He remains free after posting $10,000 bail.
Attempts to reach Loder for comment Thursday were unsuccessful. The number listed for him on charging documents went straight to voicemail, which was full. He does not have an attorney listed.
His preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 20 at District Judge Laura Manifold's office.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.