Fatal Hit-And-Run Suspect Appears In Court
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Jeffrey Hamlin was in court to face charges in the hit and run death of 40-year-old Chad Vida in Bloomfield in March.
The accident happened after Vida and Hamlin had a second heated argument that carried over to Liberty Avenue.
The first confrontation happened in the 400-block of Fisk Street where Hamlin parked his motorcycle. Hamlin was wearing the color of his motorcycle club, Vida reportedly walked by an made some derogatory remarks about the club causing the two men to get into an argument.
Vida walked away heading toward Liberty Avenue. A few minutes later Hamlin caught up with him in the 4000-block near Paul’s Lumber.
Hamlin was driving an SUV with his girlfriend and a 5-year-old child inside.
“He was afraid that that individual based on that earlier encounter was going to do something to destroy his motorcycle and wanted to make sure that wasn’t going to happen so he got out of the automobile to have an exchange of words with him,” defense attorney Lee Rothman said.
Police say Hamlin had a gun but never fired a shot.
A man who saw the second confrontation said the argument never turned physical and he thought it was over until Hamlin got back into his vehicle and tossed a hat from the window.
He then saw Vida running toward the SUV scream “just shoot me.” Seconds later, the SUV accelerated and Vida slammed into the windshield.
“I don’t know how this victim got on that automobile other than what my client indicated that he jumped on the hood of that automobile,” Rothman said, “I found that there was very little injury to the lower extremities of the alleged victim.”
Vida was found lying in the street. Police located the damaged SUV nearby.
Hamlin is charged with criminal homicide and homicide by vehicle and remains locked up in the Allegheny County Jail awaiting trial.