PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A Philadelphia judge has tossed charges against the driver of a trash truck who struck and killed a woman on a bike in Center City nearly two years ago.
Jorge Fretts’ defense attorney argued that the 28-year-old driver was not criminally reckless when he hit Emily Fredricks as she was riding her bike near 11th and Spruce Streets — and that it was a terrible accident.
Judge Lillian Ransom agreed and dismissed all charges, including vehicular homicide.
“We were very shocked that the judge decided to grant the motion,” said the 24-year-old victim’s mother, Laura. “It’s very easy to kill someone with your vehicle here.”
District Attorney Homicide Supervisor Anthony Voci argued that Fretts was looking down at a piece of paper at the time of the crash and made a right-hand turn from the left lane.
“When you are operating a 64,000-pound vehicle at rush hour, in the city of a million and half people, and it’s a large commercial vehicle that’s got a lot of blind spots, you better be driving that extra carefully. And in this case he wasn’t driving that thing anywhere near carefully,” Voci said.
District Attorney Larry Krasner announced the charges in February.
Prosecutors have 30 days to appeal. Another court date is scheduled for next month.
Fretts and his defense attorney did not want to comment for this story.