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Thursday, 07 March 2013 17:38

Parts Order Leads to Arrest in Fatal Crash

A broken headlight led to the arrest of a man accused of a hit-and-run accident that left another man dead.

Pacurie Huynh, 29, of Upper Darby, PA, was tracked down via a part ordered to repair the Toyota 4Runner he was driving when he allegedly struck the victim, Thomas Quercetti, 28, on Fourth of July last year.

Huynh was arrested Feb. 25 and charged with causing an accident that involved death and failing to give information, according to the criminal complaint.

Quercetti was walking home from a friend’s house about 1:30 a.m. on the shoulder of the 100 block of North State Road in Springfield Township, Delaware County, when he was struck by a vehicle. Police said there was no indication that the vehicle tried to stop.

Quercetti, who suffered head trauma, a broken leg, and a broken shoulder, and was in critical condition when he was taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center, died at home on Feb. 20. He had been on life support since July 4, according to Emily Harris, spokeswoman for Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan.

The complaint says investigators learned in January that evidence sent to the FBI’s laboratory in Quantico, VA, indicated a certain brand of headlamp was involved in the accident. The headlamp is used in the Toyota 4Runner.

Investigators also learned that one Maryland business supplies the parts to all Toyota dealerships in the northeastern United States. The dealers then order the parts for local auto body shops. The Maryland business provided a list of orders for the parts submitted from July 4 to Feb. 12.

On Feb. 14, a detective with the District Attorney's Office reviewed an invoice for a front passenger headlamp ordered on July 5 by Essington Auto Center in Philadelphia from Conicelli Toyota in Conshohocken.

Investigators interviewed the Essington manager, who said the car’s owner paid in cash and provided the vehicle identification number. That yielded a 2012 Toyota 4Runner registered to Huynh, whom the manager picked out of a photo lineup.

On Feb. 25, Huynh was seen driving the vehicle near Routes 476 and 30. In custody, he said he was the only person who operated the vehicle but denied having been in an accident, the complaint says.

Huynh was in custody with bail set at $500,000.

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