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Bicycle Coalition

Anthony Voci, Chief of Homicide for the Philadelphia District Attorney, speaks to Jill Fredricks Brown and BCGP’s Executive Director, Sarah Clark Stuart

At the noontime rally we organized Friday, August 16 in front of the District Attorney’s office, Anthony Voci, Chief of the Homicide Unit, made an announcement to members and supporters of the Bicycle Coalition, Families for Safe Streets Greater Philadelphia and the Vision Zero Alliance who had gathered to deliver letters demanding justice for Emily Fredricks.

Mr. Voci announced to the crowd that the D.A.’s office had approved his request to appeal the decision.  He received over 30 letters asking him to appeal Judge Lillian Ransom’s decision to dismiss the charges he had filed against Jorge Fretts for killing Emily Fredricks while driving his trash truck.

These letters were in addition to the letter we  delivered to his office Thursday morning.

The case will now go to an appellate court.

This decision is important because, Emily’s case is the ONLY fatal crash involving a bicyclist that is being criminally prosecuted by the District Attorney in recent memory.  Between 2016 to the present, eleven bicyclists have been killed and only the driver of the trash truck who killed Emily has been charged with homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving.

If a driver drives without regard for others on the road and who kills a bicyclist who has the right of way is found not responsible by our state’s laws and judicial system, then the culture shift that we are seeking is going to be much harder to ever change.  Yesterday’s announcement is an important step toward making that culture shift.

The dismissal of charges on August 14th was covered by Philly Mag, CBS, 

The August 16th rally and decision to appeal was covered by KYW, PlanPhilly, 6ABC, WHYY

Thank you to everyone who wrote letters and attended the rally.

 

Sarah Clark Stuart

Author

Sarah’s foray into trail and bicycle advocacy began in 2004 when she became involved in the “Free Schuylkill River Park” campaign to preserve public access to the Schuylkill River Trail in Center City, now known as Schuylkill Banks. Since joining the Bicycle Coalition in 2006, she has been a key player in the Bicycle Coalition’s key accomplishments: the $23 million TIGER trail-building grant; naming and building out the Circuit; lobbying successfully for legislation mandating the inclusion of bike parking in new construction projects; Philadelphia’s Complete Streets policy; and coordinating research and analysis of several reports on bicycling in Philadelphia.

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