Teen struck by car in Bensalem identified

BENSALEM, Pa. - November 29, 2012

It was around 6:30 a.m. when the teen was hit by a car at the intersection of Bensalem Boulevard and Port Side Drive.

According to investigators,17-year-old Ryan Viola, a Bucks County Technical School student, was attempting to cross traffic on Bensalem Boulevard to get to a bus stop when he was struck.

For hours Thursday morning investigators walked the intersection trying to map out the crash. The teen was in the crosswalk but police say he was walking against the light trying to get to his bus stop.

Bensalem Director of Public Safety Fred Harran tells Action News, "I can tell you that the car that was driving did have the green light, she did have the right of way, and we're still trying to figure out what exactly happened."

Viola was rushed to Aria Torresdale Hospital where he is on life support in critical condition.

Harran said the driver is a 54-year-old woman from Northeast Philadelphia. She was driving without a valid license Thursday morning. Her license had been suspended in two states, for reasons that are unclear.

The woman is reportedly cooperating with police. She told investigators that it was dark and she never saw the teen in the interesection.

No charges have been filed. Police say if anything, she may face citations.

Action News has also learned that police recovered headphones in the intersection after the crash. They want to know if Viola was wearing them and perhaps that's why he didn't seem aware that he was walking right into traffic.

Shaken witnesses described the terrifying scene when the teenager was struck.

One witness described what she saw, saying, "[The victim's] brother was in front of him and he was walking and, he was just walking, and the car just hit him. And I just saw him fly in the air."

Joanna Sharpe saw the incident unfold as well. She tells us, "When I heard the car, I looked up and I saw him in mid-air."

Sharpe went on to say, "I ran over, his brother ran over, and a few other kids who were at the bus stop ran over. I called the police."

Joanna called police and lent her cell phone to the driver of the striking vehicle, who did stop - the windshield of her car smashed, heavy front end damage.

Fellow students say Viola is a senior in electrical studies. Their thoughts are with him and his family.

"He's in electrical and he's a really nice kid. When I first came last year, he helped me out a lot," said Sharpe.

Students who witnessed the accident say after arriving at school they met with some guidance counselors and were then told that they could go home for the day.

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