Suspect Charged in Pre-Christmas Hit-and-Run Death of Bicyclist
A Levittown man believed to have fled the country after his car struck and killed a bicyclist on Dec. 19 in Bristol Borough was charged today with multiple criminal offenses, including three felonies.
Ali Hakan Cifter, 35, of Kentucky Lane, is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, homicide by vehicle and aggravated assault by vehicle, all felonies; one misdemeanor count of involuntary manslaughter and summary counts of reckless driving and failure to give information and render aid. The charges (attached below) were filed late this morning with Magisterial District Judge Frank W. Peranteau Sr. in Bristol.
Police allege that Cifter was racing another vehicle on Route 13 in his 2003 Mercedes Benz AMG when he struck and killed Kevin M. Williams Sr. near Corson Street. Williams, 52, of the 700 block of Corson Street, was pronounced dead at the scene.
After the impact, police allege, Cifter (see Facebook photo at top) drove the damaged Mercedes home, concealing it in the garage and telling his roommate he had struck a deer.
According to a probable cause affidavit:
Cifter’s roommate contacted police on Dec. 23, telling officers the whereabouts of the Mercedes. Police executed a search warrant later that day and seized the vehicle, which matched parts recovered by investigators at the crash scene.
By then, however, Cifter had fled the country. Police determined that Cifter, an American citizen originally from Turkey, boarded a plane on Dec. 21 at JFK International Airport in New York and flew to Serbia.
Before departing, Cifter had removed a Florida license plate from the rear of the Mercedes, which police recovered from inside a small refrigerator in a bedroom of his home. His roommate told police that Cifter had said that he planned to tow the vehicle to Florida for repairs.
Cifter had asked his roommate to drive him to New Jersey so that he could get another car belonging to him. Co-workers at the truck terminal where both men worked later told the roommate that Cifter had taken a flight out of the country.
Two days after leaving the United States, Cifter contacted Bristol Borough Police Sgt. Peter Faight by phone, confessing to his involvement in the fatal crash. He told Faight that the victim had jumped out in front of him, and that he had left the scene because he was scared.
Cifter told Faight that he had been racing another vehicle at speeds exceeding 70 mph. A witness told police that the vehicles were traveling more than 90 mph when the crash occurred.
On Dec. 24, a day after the phone call, Faight received an email from Cifter in which Cifter again acknowledged his involvement in the crash.
The case has been assigned to Deputy District Attorney Robert D. James, who said he would work with federal authorities to seek to have Cifter extradited to the United States for prosecution.
Bristol Borough Police Chief Steven Henry said many tips were received from the public during the investigation. He renewed an appeal for information about two hit-and-run pedestrian deaths that remain unsolved:
- On Dec. 9, 2008, 86-year-old Cecilia Profy was fatally struck by a dark-colored SUV just before 6 p.m. in the 700 block of Radcliffe Street. The driver of the vehicle was described as a white male in his 50s or early 60s, about 5-foot-7 and 170 pounds, with salt-and-pepper hair. Witnesses said he stopped briefly to try to assist the victim before driving away.
- On May 26, 2017, 50-year-old Donna Anderson was fatally struck by a dark-colored vehicle, believed to be a 2004 to 2009 Nissan Quest minivan, shortly before midnight on Route 13 at Beaver Street. The southbound vehicle continued on Route 13, where it turned west onto Bath Road.
Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt. Faight at 215-788-7813, ext. 2429.
Media contact: Robert D. James, 215.348.6332, email@example.com