PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A 19-year-old from Bucks County, Pennsylvania has been charged for a hit and run during an alleged street race in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia that left a man dead.
Joseph Vannauker, of Levittown, is charged with murder, homicide by vehicle and reckless driving.
A 16-year-old passenger in the blue Dodge Charger that Vannauker was driving was initially taken into custody by police but has since been released to his parents.
Investigators said just after midnight Tuesday officers on patrol in the area of Castor and Aramingo avenues saw two Dodge Chargers, one blue and one white, speeding down Castor Avenue.
The vehicles appeared to be racing, police said.
Officers said they saw the blue Charger hit a man who was crossing the street.
"The pedestrian that was struck by that blue Dodge Charger and was hit while that vehicle was traveling at a very, very, high rate of speed," said Chief Inspector Scott Small. "It launched the body in an eastbound direction. The victim was knocked out of both of his sneakers."
The victim died on the scene.
Both cars sped away and police tried to follow. Officers said they lost the vehicles during the pursuit that led them to Interstate 95 North.
Pennsauken, New Jersey police later pulled over the blue 2020 Dodge Charger. Police say it had front-end damage.
That's where Vannauker was taken into custody.
Philadelphia police are now matching pieces of the car left at the crash scene with the one Pennsauken police pulled over.
"That was very important because that was part of the description we were broadcasting citywide," Small said. "Pennsauken got some of that information. They did a great job stopping that vehicle about a 10-minute drive from this particular location. "
Investigators are still searching for the white Dodge Charger and are checking surveillance in hopes of finding a plate number.
Jim Adams saw the aftermath of the deadly crash. He says the intersection of Aramingo and Castor avenues is dangerous.
"I thought it was my friend, so I came around and I seen him. And I was like, 'That's Shorty.' Everyone knew him as Shorty," Adams said.
The 6abc Data Team uncovered 11 crashes involving pedestrians within 100 feet of this intersection in the last 10 years.
People who frequent this area of Port Richmond say the man also went by Gabe.
"It's sad that Gabe had to die the way he died. He didn't deserve to die that way," said Carmen Laboy.
They say he was friendly and looked out for others.
"Full of heart. He was humble," Laboy said. "He was like a crossing guard for people crossing there. He would make sure when crossing no one would hit them."