Man Accused of Causing Hit-and-Run Crash That Injured Woman

Crash Accident Hellertown

A 31-year-old Whitehall man has been charged in connection with an April 19 motor vehicle accident in which police say he collided with another motorist before fleeing the scene.

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Crash Accident Hellertown

According to charges recently filed by the Hellertown Police Department, a 31-year-old Salisbury Township man fled the scene after colliding with another vehicle at the intersection of Burkhardt Street and Wagner Avenue (pictured above) on April 19. Police said they identified Lynnden L. Jani of Whitehall as the driver who allegedly caused the accident, which they said left the other driver with injuries.

A 31-year-old Whitehall man has been charged in connection with an April 19 motor vehicle accident in which police say he collided with another motorist before fleeing the scene.

According to a Hellertown Police Department news release and court records, Lynnden L. Jani was southbound in the 1600 block of Burkhardt Street when he allegedly caused the 5:45 p.m. accident that left the other motorist injured.

An affidavit of probable cause filed in Northampton County District Court 03-2-04 said Jani failed to yield the right-of-way to the other driver, who was crossing Burkhardt Street on Wagner Avenue. North-south traffic on Burkhardt is required to stop at its intersection with Wagner Avenue, while Wagner Avenue traffic does not stop at Burkhardt Street.

Jani allegedly fled before police arrived at the scene, where they said a witness described him as a white male in his late 20s or early 30s with dark hair and “a dark, bushy beard.”

Police also obtained information about Jani’s vehicle from the witness and nearby surveillance video, the affidavit said, which enabled them to identify it as a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Using the registration number on the Jeep’s license plate, police said they tracked it to the 1600 block of Graham Street in Salisbury Township, Lehigh County, to a home they said belongs to his father.

Parked near the property, the affidavit said, was the Jeep with “observable damage consistent with the collision” and an engine block that “was still radiating heat.”

After making contact with the elder Jani, police said he told them his son was operating the vehicle without his permission when the crash allegedly occurred.

Police said they also obtained a PennDOT driver’s license photo of Lynnden Jani “which positively matched the witness description of the driver in the collision.”

On May 2, police said they conducted an interview with him at department headquarters, during which he was accompanied by legal counsel.

During the interview, Jani “did admit verbally and in writing to being involved in a motor vehicle collision on April 19, 2023 at approximately 5:45 p.m. at an intersection of Burkhardt Street in Hellertown borough and fleeing the scene due (to) not being properly licensed,” the police investigator said in the affidavit.

Jani is charged with Misdemeanor 1 Accidents involving death or personal injury; Misdemeanor 2 Accidents involving death or injury while not licensed; and two summary offenses.

According to police and court records, following a preliminary arraignment before District Judge Alan Mege in Lower Saucon Township, he was released on $10,000 unsecured bail.

A preliminary hearing in his case is scheduled to be held before Mege on Thursday, June 15 at 9:30 p.m., according to the docket filed in the case.

Jani is being represented by Bethlehem attorney James Burke, according to the docket.

Note: All individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. This story was compiled using information from Hellertown Police and Northampton County court records.


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at josh@sauconsource.com.

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