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Palmyra NJ Man Arrested for Fatal Hit-and-Run Crash at Bristol Township McDonalds in February


BRISTOL TOWNSHIP PA (March 15, 2023)(CNBNews)--A New Jersey man was charged Friday, March 10, 2023, with intentionally running a man over in the parking lot of a McDonald’s in Bristol Township last month.

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Daniel Stephen Dietrich, 45, of Palmyra, is charged with criminal homicide, accidents involving death or personal injury, accidents involving death or injury while not licensed and driving on a suspended driver’s license.

He was arraigned Friday by Magisterial District Judge Kevin P. Wagner and was sent him to Bucks County Correctional Facility. He was denied bail.  

Jason Smith, 47, of Levittown, was struck and killed by a pickup truck driven by Dietrich on Feb. 5 at the McDonalds at 7700 Bristol Pike in Bristol Township. After the crash, Dietrich exited the parking lot and drove down Route 13 toward Tullytown.

An investigation by Detectives with the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office and the Bristol Township Police Department and aided by tips from the public led to Dietrich being identified as the driver of the fleeing pickup truck.

The investigation into the fatal crash on Feb. 5, 2023, found that the two men had been involved in an earlier driving incident about a mile before they arrived at the McDonald’s restaurant.

At the restaurant, surveillance footage captured Smith’s Nissan entering the McDonald’s parking lot from the Haines Road entrance. Seconds later, Dietrich pulled his truck along the right side of Smith’s car, then stopped in the entrance-way area, blocking the entrance to other traffic. 

Dietrich maneuvered his truck in front of Smith, blocking Smith’s possible forward motion. He then backed into a parking spot, so that the front of his truck is angled toward the north side of the parking lot and away from where he entered the McDonald’s parking lot.

Smith parked along the curb, got out of his car, and opened his trunk, retrieving a hammer, the footage showed. Smith began to approach the front of Dietrich’s truck, but as he got close, Dietrich drove forward toward him and made a hard left turn into Smith.

The front side of the truck struck Smith, knocking him to the ground. Dietrich continued to make the hard left turn, running over Smith with both the front and rear driver’s side wheels of his truck. Dietrich never slowed down and continued driving out of the McDonald’s parking lot on to northbound Route 13.

The surveillance footage also revealed that Dietrich had an alternative, clear exit out of the parking spot by driving to the right.  Dietrich could have driven his truck to the right and out of the parking spot to avoid striking and running over Smith, the investigation found.

This investigation was led by Bucks County Detectives and Bristol Township Detectives with assistance from law enforcement in New Jersey. The case is assigned for prosecution to Deputy District Attorney Megan A. Hunsicker.

Media Contact: Manuel Gamiz Jr., 215.348.6298,

Criminal charges are allegations subject to proof in court. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.