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Hunlock Twp. man charged with homicide by vehicle

July 15. 2013 11:42PM

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NANTICOKE — State police at Wyoming arrested a Hunlock Township man Monday on allegations he caused the hit-and-run death of a bicyclist in Plymouth Township in August.

Matthew Perkins, 20, of Hartman Road, was charged with homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, accidents involving death and a traffic citation. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $100,000 bail after he was arraigned Monday afternoon.

State police at Wyoming allege Perkins, driving a 2007 Saab, struck Richard Stadts, 73, along Route 11 in West Nanticoke, Plymouth Township, on Aug. 7. Stadts died Aug. 8 at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center.

Stadts was riding a bicycle in the area of Stookey's Restaurant when he was struck.

Perkins was found at his residence. His Saab had a missing passenger-side mirror. Evidence found at the scene of the fatal crash matched damage to Perkins' Saab, according to a search warrant affidavit.

A motorist told state police he had to swerve to avoid being struck by the Saab as it approached him from behind near the intersection of Route 29. Another motorist wrote down the Saab's license plate number when the two cars stopped at a traffic signal, the search warrant affidavit says.

When the witness later drove through the area, seeing paramedics and state police at the scene, he provided the license plate number to a trooper, which led to the discovery of the Saab, according to the affidavit.

Perkins was also arraigned on unrelated charges of driving under the influence of a controlled substance and three traffic violations stemming from a traffic stop by state police on Jan. 2.

Court records say Perkins is facing other unrelated charges in county court by Kingston Township police of driving under the influence of marijuana on Aug. 18, 2012, and possession of heroin and trespassing by Wilkes-Barre police who stopped him leaving an apartment complex on Coal Street on Feb. 9.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled on July 24.

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