Arrest made in hit-and-run that killed 19-year-old Ke'asya Gray

CALN TWP., Pa. (WPVI) -- A woman has been arrested in a hit-and-run in Thorndale, Pa. that left a 19-year-old dead.

Gina Marie Bennett, 48, of Coatesville, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of homicide by vehicle while DUI and related offenses.

Her bail was set at $300,000 unsecured with a preliminary hearing set for February 4th.

She is charged in the death of 19-year old Ke'asya Gray of Coatesville.

"Our investigators worked diligently and methodically to build a strong case and bring a coward and a killer to justice," said Caln Police Chief Joseph Elias in a statement.

"While the arrest of Gina Bennett will do little to console a grieving family, at a time of year that should bring joy and happiness, I trust that it will aid in the healing process and offer some sense of closure to this horrific crime."

Her family said Ke'asya had been dropped off at 11 p.m. on Thursday, December 4th to work the overnight shift at the Dollar Tree store in the 3400 block of Lincoln Highway.

The doors of the store were locked, her family said, so she walked back toward the highway where she was struck.

She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Police believe Bennett began a night of drinking in Downingtown at a VFW post and continued at the Crossroad bar on Lancaster Avenue.

A short time later, surveillance video from a car dealership and pizza shop caught Bennett's gray Honda Pilot on tape before and after the accident.

The footage afterwards shows damage on the vehicle consistent with hitting the victim.

The next day, a tip from an auto body shop brought police to the alleged striking vehicle and they identified Bennett as the owner.

For Ke'asya's family, it is the second tragedy in two months. Ke'asya's 22-year-old sister, Joi'lheta, succumbed to diabetes back in mid-October. They are trying to stay strong through the holidays.

"It's kind of like a shock because it doesn't seem real yet. It's like a little sense of relief that they got somebody and a lady turned herself in," cousin A'Jee Clark said.

Ke'asya was studying nursing in the wake of her sister's death.

The affidavit also states that surveillance video shows a green Jeep Liberty following Bennett's vehicle from the bar, before and after the hit and run. Police are urging the driver of that vehicle to come forward but at this time there are no charges pending.

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