MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A Strasburg man has been returned to West Virginia after being arrested last month in Maryland following a fatal hit-and-run that occurred in Charles Town.
Kenneth Jerome Lee, 45, was arrested after he allegedly struck and killed William Snyder Sr., 60, of Parkville, Maryland, on Jan. 21, according to police. Lee was arraigned Monday in Jefferson County Magistrate Court on the felony charges of leaving the scene of an accident causing death and driving under the influence involving death.
Following the accident, the black Toyota Rav4 that Lee was driving left the scene and was later stopped by the Warren County Sheriff’s Department, court records said. There, he was charged with DUI.
Lee was extradited back to West Virginia Monday after waiving extradition on Feb. 6, according to jail records and Warren County court records. He is currently incarcerated in the Eastern Regional Jail in lieu of a $150,000 bond.
Also on Monday, Lee pleaded not guilty to the felony charges, court records said. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Feb. 21 in front of Jefferson County, West Virginia, Magistrate Vicki D’Angelo.
At approximately 3:20 p.m. Jan. 21, police were called to a motor vehicle accident involving a pedestrian near the 11-mile marker on U.S. Route 340 near Halltown, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said.
Upon Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy B. McCusker’s arrival to the scene, he was met by officer Newlin with the Charles Town Police Department, police said. Newlin advised that Snyder had pulled off onto the side of the road and was tightening the straps to his trailer when he was struck.
Multiple witnesses reported that the SUV stopped briefly before leaving the scene.
One witness advised police that the victim began to move over when the vehicle swerved in front of him, lost control of the vehicle and struck the victim, court records said.
Jefferson County Sheriff Pete Dougherty said officers obtained information from witnesses that the vehicle was registered in Virginia. Witnesses were also able to provide photos of the vehicle, including the make, model, license plate number and damage sustained to the vehicle in the accident, police said in the press release.
Another witness advised that the vehicle pulled in front of her at the Exxon Gas Station in Virginia, court records said.
“One of the witnesses had been behind the vehicle since the Exxon station in Virginia and reported that the driver was swerving in and out of traffic and driving in the wrong lane multiple times,” the press release said. “The witness observed the vehicle swerving before hitting the tractor and trailer.”
Police were able to obtain surveillance footage from the gas station, court records said. Sgt. Chumley with the West Virginia State Police said the male, who was the sole occupant of the SUV, was a black male wearing a Raiders sweatshirt and dark pants.
The information for the suspect vehicle was distributed in the form of a “be on the lookout” advisory, and officers worked with the Winchester Police Department in an attempt to make contact with the vehicle or its owner, police said.
The Winchester Police Department advised that officers made contact with the registered owner, who said his wife had driven the vehicle to work and had allowed a co-worker to borrow it to run errands, according to the press release.
At approximately 3:41 p.m., deputies with the Warren County Sheriff’s Department observed a black Toyota SUV with extensive damage to the rear passenger’s side, including three broken windows and a broken taillight, according to a press release from Warren County Sheriff’s Department.
Lee allegedly fled from officers when they initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle.
“The vehicle continued onto the property of a local manufacturing facility where it eventually stopped. While behind the vehicle, deputies observed the vehicle failing to maintain its lane of travel,” police said in the press release.
When detained, Lee was wearing a Raiders sweatshirt, court records said.
Lee alleged that someone on U.S. 340 had sideswiped him while traveling back from Charles Town, according to police. He was also allegedly unable to tell deputies whether the incident occurred in Virginia or West Virginia. He declined medical attention.
Lee was placed under arrest for first-offense driving under the influence of drugs, court records said. He is also charged in Virginia with failure to take a breath test.