Delaware County man arrested in New Year's Day hit and run

January 3, 2012 3:13:28 PM PST
A Delaware County man has been formally charged today in connection with a New Year's morning hit and run. That accident left a Collingdale man critically injured.

Police say 24-year-old Matthew Cooper has admitted driving the Ford 500 that ran into 34-year-old John McManus. McManus remains at the hospital in critical condition.

Meanwhile, Cooper was released on $500,000 unsecured bail on the condition that he remains with his brother who is a SEPTA officer. Neither he, his lawyer or his family chose to make a statement today.

Matthew Cooper did not respond to reporter questions as he was led inside to a Folcroft courtroom Tuesday morning. Police say the EMT from Secane hit the victim with his car early Sunday morning, and then took off.

John McManus, a married father of two, remains in the hospital in critical condition. His wife, Misty, says doctors are optimistic.

"He's still in critical condition, but the prognosis is seeming to look okay," Misty explained. "The chest tubes might possibly be coming out. He will stay on the ventilator and sedation because he's healing a lot better that way."

McManus had been the designated driver after a night out New Year's Eve. He got out of the car as he was dropping a friend off when Cooper allegedly struck McManus. Police later radioed to be on the lookout for a light sage Ford 500 that was soon located in Secane. A tipster reported the suspicious, damaged vehicle to police that was sitting in the parking lot of an apartment complex. Authorities say it had a white towel draped over the windshield, a plastic bag covering the bumper, and the license plate removed.

While on the scene, police say Cooper approached them, saying he wanted to talk to police about an accident. He later told authorities he and a passenger were leaving a New Year's celebration when he became distracted and struck an unknown object, but did not stop to check what it was.

Misty McManus gave her take on Cooper's admission, saying, "He only went out there because the police were out there looking at the vehicle. So, I don't see him as being a very good person because he came out after the fact. He did take his license plate off and cover the damage of the car up."

Matthew Cooper is expected to appear back in court on January 11th in Folcroft.