Woman admits to hit-and-run crash that killed pedestrian; sentenced to 3-10 years in prison

A 27-year-old woman admitted Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, that she was intoxicated when she struck and killed a man walking along Stump Road in Plumstead Township and then fled the scene.

Charlotte Mary Kleckner, of Doylestown, appeared before Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey L. Finley and pleaded guilty to accidents involving death or personal injury and drunk driving for killing Delfino Colop-Alvarado in the Aug. 27, 2021, crash.

She was sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison on the first charge and a concurrent sentence of 72 hours to six months on the second charge.

Before handing down the sentence, Finley heard victim impact statements from several people who knew Colop-Alvarado, including the owner of a Plumstead farm where he lived and worked as a groundskeeper for the past 15 years. Those who knew the victim spoke of his work ethic, warm spirit, and trustworthiness.

“We cannot bring back our friend of over 15 years but wish that the legal system will allow for one purpose: to provide for his family,” James Simkins, the owner of Freedom Farm, wrote in an impact statement. “For everyone’s piece of mind, I would hope that the reckless behavior is recognized, and this life-changing event influences those that are being given a second chance to show their gratitude and remorse to Delfino’s family and well-being.”

A family who rented a farmhouse at Freedom Farm said, “In a world that moves quickly, Delfino was committed to taking the time to do things right. He was committed to being honest, even when no one was around to know otherwise. He was committed to being good. He made the world a more beautiful place.”

Colop-Alvarado was walking in the 4700 block of Stump Road when he was hit and killed by a vehicle that did not stop. Police received a 911 call at 12:21 a.m. on Aug. 28, 2021, but the investigation determined he was struck about an hour earlier.

The victim had been wearing dark clothing but was clutching a white shopping bag. An autopsy determined he died of a fractured skull, fractured neck, fractured pelvis, and fractured legs. 

As police were investigating at the scene, police learned that the person who struck Colop-Alvarado was at 6077 High Meadow Drive in Pipersville. Police arrived at the home, which is approximately a mile from the crash scene, and located a gray 2010 Subaru Outback with heavy front end damage to the front right side and windshield.

Police spotted Kleckner attempting to leave the house through a back door. Police approached her and, while speaking to her, smelled an odor of alcohol. She refused field sobriety tests, but test results showed she had a blood-alcohol level of 0.195 percent, two hours after the crash.

Kleckner told police she originally assumed she struck a deer, but she looked for the deer and didn’t find one. She said she saw a white shopping bag on the lower right side of her windshield upon impact and thought that was strange.

When asked if she had anything to drink, she told police she had a beer or two, but that was at 9 p.m. She said after the crash, she drove to a family member’s home, and that family member returned to the crash scene and found the victim. The family member then called police.

A crash reconstruction revealed that the victim was walking on the side of the roadway in a westbound direction when he was struck by Kleckner’s vehicle. He impacted the right front fender and windshield and was thrown approximately 49 feet.

Kleckner never stopped or called 911.

This case was investigated by the Plumstead Township Police Department and was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Robert D. James.

Media Contact: Manuel Gamiz Jr., 215.348.6298, mgamiz@buckscounty.org.