Man turns self in to police following fatal Bensalem hit-and-run crash

Wednesday, January 24, 2024
Man turns self in to police following fatal Bensalem hit-and-run crash
Man turns self in to police following fatal Bensalem hit-and-run crash

BENSALEM, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A 35-year-old man turned himself in to Bensalem police on Tuesday in connection with a summer hit-and-run that left a teenager dead.

According to police, James Shulski, of Trevose, is charged with accidents involving death or personal injury and other related crimes in the July 6, 2023 crash.

The crash happened at about 10:15 p.m. on Street Road near the Route 1 overpass.

Police tell Action News it appears that a group of teens were playing in the road and were there for some time before it happened.

When officers arrived, they found a 14-year-old boy in the center lane of the road. He was unresponsive and died of his injuries.

The victim was later identified as Harlem Dennis.

Police said the driver of the striking vehicle did stop, but got back in the car and drove away.

Surveillance video from the incident showed a gray Honda Accord traveling on Street Road just before the crash.

Investigators went to the registered address of the vehicle owner and found a gray Honda Accord parked at the home. The Honda had damage consistent with striking a pedestrian, police said.

Police spoke with the car owner and then attempted to speak with Shulski, who lived at the house, but he refused to answer any questions.

Officers obtained a search warrant and the Honda was seized.

Investigators also obtained a search warrant for Shulski's cell phone records. The records placed Shulski's cell phone near the scene at the time of the crash, police said.

A search warrant for his DNA was also served, and the DNA recovered from the vehicle's steering wheel matched the sample of Shulski.

Shulski turned himself in on Tuesday. He was arraigned and has since been bailed out after posting 10% of $100,000.

Action News spoke with Harlem's mother about the developments in the case. She says she is still devastated by the loss of her son.

14-year-old Harlem Dennis

"My son was my best friend. I had him at 16, so I literally grew up with him," Terandace Dennis said.

Not a day goes by that Terandace doesn't think about her son. She wears him on her chest and his face is the screensaver on her phone.

She says Harlem was walking to the store for snacks with a friend when he died.

"My son had on reflector clothes, he knew the rules," she said. "He knew how to cross the street."

After six long months, Terandace says the crash and Shulski's alleged actions still hurt deeply.

"Not only did he hit him, he got out of his car and looked at my son's lifeless body, got in his car, and drove off, and continued to do whatever he was doing for the rest of his night," she said.

She also said that no matter what, she would continue to fight for justice for her son.

"For him to turn himself in today and get right back out, it shows some type of privilege in my eyes," Terandace said. "That's what's next for me. Seeing this man behind bars where he should be, before he does it again, post bail, and gets away with it."