Two Perkiomen Township residents have been charged in connection with a crash that killed 16-year-old Pottsgrove High School Student Timothy Paciello, Jr. on Nov. 12, according to a press release from the District Attorney’s Office.
According to authorities, Robert Norman Sitler Jr. and Denise Dinnocenti were traveling in a vehicle, with two children in the back seat, that struck Paciello on E. High Street in Lower Pottsgrove just before 9 p.m.
Dinnocenti initially provided a written statement to police identifying herself as the operator of the vehicle, because she knew where she was going and Sitler had consumed several beers.
Through an extensive follow up investigation, it was determined that Sitler was the driver of the vehicle, and Dinnocenti was the front seat passenger, according to the release.
In a subsequent interview, Dinnocenti and Sitler admitted that Sitler was the driver and that they pulled into a shopping center after the crash and conspired to report that Dinnocenti was the driver, according to the DA. They also admitted to convincing their teen passengers to lie about who was driving.
Dinnocenti allegedly agreed to state she was driving because Sitler was involved in a pedestrian crash in 2004 in Alabama, when Sitler was convicted of vehicle homicide-manslaughter because he had consumed a few beers prior to driving.
The release states that, on the day after the accident, the pair filed a claim with an insurance company reporting that Dinnocenti was the operator of the vehicle.
Sitler is charged with homicide by vehicle, insurance fraud, unsworn falsification to authorities, false reports, corruption of minors, conspiracy, reckless driving, speeding and other related charges.
Dinnocenti is charged with insurance fraud, unsworn falsification to authorities, false reports, corruption of minors, conspiracy and other related charges.
The pair was arraigned before Magisterial District Justice Edward Kropp, Sr. at 3 p.m. on Monday.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this article identified the suspects as Collegeville residents, based on a statement issued by the county district attorney's office. Both Dinnocenti and Sitler are, in fact, residents of Perkiomen Township. Their home has a Collegeville mailing address.