Bucks County resident facing murder charge for hit-and-run following alleged street race

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is charging a 19-year-old man with murder for a deadly hit-and-run incident that happened during an alleged street race.

Joseph Vannauker of Levittown faces murder, homicide involving a vehicle, and reckless driving charges after authorities say he participated in an illegal street race in Port Richmond Tuesday.

According to our news partner 6abc, two Dodge Chargers, one blue and one white, were speeding down Castor Avenue around midnight Tuesday. The blue one, driven by Vannauker, was traveling between 62 to 70 mph when it struck and killed a man who was crossing the street.

A police chase with Vannauker led to a chase that reached 130 mph and ended in a crash in Pennsauken, New Jersey, trapping both Vannauker and a 16-year-old passenger inside. The 16-year-old passenger was initially taken into custody by police but has since been released to his parents.

Vannauker was out on bail after being arrested for reckless driving last October at Broad and York streets.

“He’s flat out too dangerous to have on the street,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said during a Wednesday news conference. “Someone who is awaiting trial for this kind of activity is street racing in the evenings…It just means that he is not at a point in his life where he’s going to take his foot off the gas pedal in ways that are incredibly dangerous to himself, to others, to police, even to his passenger, and, of course, to the victim in this case.”

  • August 24, 2023
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