PLYMOUTH TWP. -- An elderly man struck by a vehicle on Route 11 died Wednesday, the third hit-and-run fatality in the area in recent weeks.
Richard Stadts, 73, of West Nanticoke, died at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Plains Township, at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Luzerne County Acting Coroner William Lisman said.
Stadts was riding a bicycle in the area of Stookey's restaurant when he was struck by a vehicle at about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, state police Trooper Martin Connors said.
A passing motorist who witnessed a vehicle swerve helped state police track the car to a Hunlock Township residence on Hartman Road.
State police went to the Hartman Road residence where they detained the alleged driver, Matthew Perkins, 19.
Perkins was later released, Connors said, adding that charges would be filed pending an investigation.
The witness, driving in another vehicle, observed a car swerve, not knowing Stadts had been struck. The witness wrote down the license plate number out of concern when the two vehicles stopped at a traffic signal at state Route 29, Connors said.
Connors said the witness later drove through the same area and saw paramedics and state police at the accident scene.
"He stopped and provided information that led us to this individual," Connors said.
He said there was physical evidence at the scene where Stadts was struck.
Stadts was wearing a reflective vest and had lights on his bicycle.
An autopsy is scheduled today at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, Lisman said.
Stadts is the third person to die in hit-and-run incidents in recent weeks:
• Rebecca McCallick, 19, died after being struck by a vehicle in front of her apartment at 199 Hazle Ave., Wilkes-Barre, on July 24.
Wilkes-Barre police are searching for a vehicle of interest, a dark-colored pickup truck.
• City police charged Danielle Castrignano, 20, of Kingston, with leaving the scene after striking Corey Ryan, 20, at South River and West Northampton streets, on June 15.
Ryan, who was wheelchair bound, died June 29 at a hospice in Dunmore from injuries suffered in the crash, according to the Lackawanna County Coroner's Office.
Castrignano surrendered to authorities on June 16. She told police she believed she had struck a shopping cart, according to the criminal complaint.