Monday, January 11, 2016

Man to be charged with fatal hit and run incident after his truck was found buried in his backyard

Police in Palmer, Massachusetts, say they will charge a Monson man in connection with the New Year's Eve death of a man, run down by a pick-up truck as he crossed a road.

Palmer Police Lt. Christopher Burns said Monson resident Christopher Lemek Jr., 40, will be charged with homicide by motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident involving death, and negligent operation of a motor vehicle. Burns said Palmer police found the destroyed truck buried in Lemek's backyard in Monson on Friday.

Burns said Lemek confessed to police that the day after the fatal incident, he used an excavator to dig a hole in his backyard and dropped the 1996 Chevy C-2500 into it. He then crushed the vehicle with the excavator bucket and filled in over it, Burns said. During the police investigation, Lemek emerged as a possible suspect. Authorities received a warrant to search his home on Jan 6. Police said they found some items related to the investigation at that time, and they became suspicious of the disturbed earth in the yard.

But it wasn't until Lemek confessed that police were able to dig up the truck. Burns said a final report of the incident, prepared by the Massachusetts State Police Collision Analysis & Reconstruction Section, indicated that Lemek was allegedly travelling eastbound at around 6pm on News Year's Eve when he struck 59-year-old Gary LeBlanc as he walked across the street at a crosswalk. Lemek claimed he did not see LeBlanc in the street, and that he only realised later that his vehicle was the one that struck LeBlanc.

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