Man found not guilty for hitting girl with car as she crossed street near Abington High

Jim Melwert
January 29, 2020 - 5:12 pm
James Clark

Montgomery County District Attorney's Office

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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A Montgomery County man, who hit a girl with his car as she crossed the street outside Abington Senior High School in August 2017, has been found not guilty. 

Montgomery County Judge William Carpenter found James Clark not guilty of the major charges against him, including aggravated assault by vehicle and reckless endangerment.

Initially, Abington police said the girl was distracted as she crossed Highland Avenue at Canterbury Road, because she was FaceTiming a friend. Prosecutors, however, filed charges, claiming Clark was speeding and he had enough time to stop.

Clark’s lawyer, Marc Steinberg, said the 911 call Clark immediately made was key to his case.

“You can hear that he’s upset and distraught. He’s breathing heavily and he said, ‘Oh my God, a girl just ran out in front of my car and I hit her,’ ” he explained.

Steinberg argued charges shouldn’t have been filed in the first place, because several witnesses had differing accounts of what happened.

“When they first gave their statements, they said she was running. A couple of them changed running to going quickly, jogging, walking quickly then stopping, then running again,” he said.

Investigators say the girl was thrown 102 feet. She survived, but she testified that she is still dealing with some issues.

While Clark and his family are relieved the case is over, Steinberg said this is no celebration.

Clark was found guilty of summary traffic offenses and given a $225 fine.