Welcome to “What ever happened with,” Billy Penn’s ongoing series that will look at older stories that may have been forgotten about or otherwise not followed up on. Whether it’s a delayed development project or an unsolved murder mystery, “What ever happened with” strives to tell you what’s up with that Philly thing you might have forgotten about.
A cyclist and a driver collided near Temple in late April. The cyclist was Rachel Hall, a Temple student and former lacrosse player nearing graduation. The driver, who fled the scene, was Rashan Roberts, a 19-year-old who lived a few blocks south of Temple. Four months later, Hall is still recuperating and Roberts is awaiting sentencing.
Roberts pleaded guilty in late July to leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury and will be sentenced October 13. His crime is a class three felony, meaning he faces a maximum of seven years in prison.
According to the latest updates from her family on a Facebook page dedicated to Hall, she is still undergoing therapy at Magee Rehabilitation Center for leg and head injuries she suffered. Her progress, according to her mother Kathy Hall’s posts, was moving slowly but in the right direction. A tracheal tube had been removed from her throat in late June, meaning Hall could breathe on her own for the first time since the accident. Earlier that month, doctors also removed a cervical collar.
Kathy Hall did not respond to email and Facebook inquiries from Billy Penn.
Had Roberts not fled the scene, it’s unlikely he would have been charged with any crime, according to police. A Temple police officer who witnessed the scene was quoted in the affidavit of probable cause as saying Hall was riding south on Park Avenue fast and disregarded a stop sign while turning left on Diamond Avenue. Roberts’ car was heading west on Diamond Avenue, where there were no traffic signals, and the vehicle and Hall collided.
A witness told police Roberts stopped his car momentarily and then heard one of his passengers say, “go, go, go.” Roberts, who had only a learner’s permit, told police he panicked.
A week after Roberts’ guilty plea this summer, Hall’s mother, Kathy Hall, left this message on Facebook:
“Rachel’s life deserves more respect than to be considered roadkill. The driver leaving her alone, without emergent care, left in the street to die. I just don’t understand the lack of human decency not to call 911, to call for help for an injured human in need of emergent care. Nor do I understand why the man was driving with a learner’s permit without a licensed driver in the vehicle as needed by law. His joy ride with friends ended up in tragedy for my daughter.”