Driver charged in fatal NE Philadelphia hit-and-run

NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police have charged the man who allegedly struck a pedestrian with his car early Tuesday morning in Northeast Philadelphia, and then fled the scene on foot.

John Cook, 35, of the 4800 block of Tackawanna Street, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and related offenses.

Investigators say Cook hit 50-year-old Alejo Molina shortly after 12 a.m. at Cottman and Bustleton avenues.

Molina was on his way home from work, police say, when Cook's Lexus plowed into a bus stop canopy where Molina was standing, ripping the metal structure off its hinges and dragging it down the block.

They say Molina was thrown almost 100 feet in the air before falling to the sidewalk.

"Witnesses say the driver exited the Lexus, walked over, looked at the body then fled on foot south on Bustleton Avenue," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small.

Molina was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators believe speed, and the heavy rain at the time, were major factors in the crash.

The Lexus sustained heavy front damage. A tire was ripped off during the crash, and the axle was broken.

Molina was a husband and father of two.

"I miss him, I love him," Molina's wife, Christie Silva, told Action News. "I wish he could just come back to me.... He is an excellent man, hard worker. We have a 20-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. We will just miss you."

"He's a very nice guy. I love him. He's a good father," said his mother-in-law, Tina Silva.

Police say Cook turned himself in around 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.
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