Man sentenced for Bucks Co. fatal hit-and-run

23-year-old John Rearick was struck and killed in Middletown, Bucks County on July 22, 2012.

January 16, 2013 5:39:38 AM PST
A Bucks County man was sentenced Tuesday for a July 2012 deadly hit and run in Middletown, Pennsylvania.

A judge sentenced Jonathan Simmons to 15 to 30 months in prison.

Simmons struck and killed 23-year-old John Rearick just after midnight on July 22nd at New Falls Road near Lower Orchard Drive. The incident was captured by surveillance cameras outside the Penn Jersey auto repair shop.

Police say Rearick was out with friends at McStew's Irish Sports Bar that night. He then left and began walking westbound on New Falls Road toward his home in Croydon.

At 12:21 a.m. a car came up westbound in the left lane and struck Rearick.

Rearick suffered serious head injuries and later died at Saint Mary Medical Center.

In November, Simmons apologized to Rearick's family. He told the court he panicked and fled the scene after the accident.

In addition, Simmons' license was suspended at the time of the crash because of previous traffic violations.

Through their attorney, the Rearick family released the following statement:

The Defendant Jonathan Simmons was sentenced to 15 to 30 months in prison with 12 months probation to run consecutively not concurrently and to pay restitution. This sentence today helps with closure and will allow the family and friends of John Rearick to move forward. However, no sentence imposed can ever repair the damage or minimize the loss suffered by a family that faces a tragedy like this one. It is important to mention that John Rearick's parents, Sharon and Jim, have worked hard to insure that no other family ever has to deal with a situation like this one. They have begun an organization called SideWalks for New Falls Road whose purpose is to raise public awareness as to the safety risks that exist to pedestrians and bicyclists along New Falls Road in Middletown Township and to increase the safety measures to install sidewalks. They have worked closely with officials from Middletown Township, State Representative, Tina Davis and Senator Tomlinson. Please visit the site at SideWalks for New Falls Road and give your support to have sidewalks installed on New Falls Road.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.