Friday, July 11, 2014

Truck ‚??of interest‚?? in fatality

February 16. 2013 3:27PM

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WILKES-BARRE ‚?? A Ford F350 pickup truck impounded by city police as a vehicle of interest in a fatal hit and run is registered to Daniel Loughnane, according to sources and a speeding citation in 2009.

Police took custody of the large blue pickup truck from Loughnane‚??s driveway at his home at 71 W. Liberty St. in the Newtown section of Hanover Township Thursday night. The truck is similar to a surveillance camera photograph of a dark-colored truck with an extended cab and a tool box in the bed that was released by police on Tuesday.

Loughnane, 40, owner of Liam‚??s Place on North Washington Street, Wilkes-Barre, could not be reached for comment on Friday. A Facebook posting indicated he is vacationing at Lake Ontario, Canada, for two weeks and left on Monday, a day before the surveillance camera photograph was released to the media.

A bartender at Liam‚??s Place, which Loughnane opened in April 2006, confirmed that he was out of the country and she didn‚??t know of anyone authorized to speak on his behalf. She said she didn‚??t know if Loughnane was aware that his truck had been impounded.

A neighbor on West Liberty Street said Friday she last saw Loughnane Sunday night. She declined comment only to say Loughnane is a ‚??nice man.‚?Ě

Police called the truck a ‚??vehicle of interest‚?Ě in the hit and run crash that claimed the life of Rebecca McCallick, 19, on Hazle Avenue on July 24.

No charges have been filed and police have not said who was driving the vehicle that struck McCallick.

City police Chief Gerard Dessoye said Friday: ‚??It is way too early to say what direction the investigation is going.‚?Ě The chief said he would have to speak with Detective David Sobocinski to find out how police located the truck, whether by a tip or a township police officer spotting the vehicle in Loughnane‚??s driveway.

‚??We‚??re continuously following up on any leads and tips we get,‚?Ě Dessoye said. ‚??How this particular information was received? The detective has been following up on leads since the crash happened.‚?Ě

The truck was transported to the basement garage at police headquarters on North Washington Street. Police tape encircled the truck in the basement.

Loughnane was cited by state police at Pocono with speeding while operating the Ford F350 on the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike on Feb. 2, 2009. He pleaded guilty and paid a fine of $177.50, according to court records.

McCallick was struck by a vehicle in front of her apartment at 199 Hazle Ave. at about 2:23 a.m. on July 24. She died at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.

A woman who lived nearby on Hazle Avenue told reporters she heard tires screeching as if the vehicle had stopped and suddenly drove off, squealing its tires, when McCallick was struck.

‚??It was definitely a peel, like they were taking off,‚?Ě Mary Jean Humphrey told reporters on July 24.

McCallick, a graduate of Crestwood High School in Mountain Top, was entering her sophomore year at King‚??s College in Wilkes-Barre.

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