Joseph McCoy, 25, of Slatington was charged last month for a fatal accident which happened in downtown Palmerton back in 2018.

On Wednesday, he was in court for his preliminary hearing.

The accident happened the morning of December 12th, 2018 on Delaware Avenue in front of Spillane's Fit.

During Wednesday's hearing, Palmerton police testified, saying McCoy stayed on scene and admitted to hitting Clair Fatzinger. Fatzinger was 81 and a resident of Lower Towamensing Township. Police say McCoy also admitted to smoking marijuana the night before the crash.

McCoy is facing several charges, including a second degree felony of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence. On Wednesday, his lawyer tried to have that most serious offense, along with all other DUI-related charges, thrown out.

The defense argued there was not enough of a case made by the prosecution for those charges to be pressed. The judge did not agree.

"We feel like the judge made the correct decision today as far as denying that motion. We feel strongly at this point that we have enough evidence to establish that obviously as the case moves forward," said Brian Gazo, the Carbon County assistant district attorney who is prosecuting the case.

The crash occurred around 7:00 a.m. on December 12th. Fatzinger was pronounced dead later that night at a Lehigh Valley hospital.

According to police, McCoy was driving east on Delaware Avenue, on his way to work. 

Police testified McCoy stayed cooperated fully throughout the investigation. He told officers at the crash scene that Fatzinger had peeked his head out from between two parked vehicles on the south side of the road. That's when he hit his brakes and honked his horn. McCoy said the man stepped back then ran out in front of his car as he started driving, not allowing him enough time to stop again.

But an accident reconstruction and police investigation revealed Fatzinger was actually crossing Delaware Avenue from the opposite side of the street and was never between two parked cars.

"The evidence shows and will show there's a discrepancy between Mr. McCoy's version of events and what the actual accident reconstruction shows," said Gazo.

McCoy had previously told police he was speeding. He said he was going approximately 35 miles per hour. The speed limit on Delaware Avenue is 25 miles per hour. Police also testified phone records show McCoy had just completed a phone call around the same time he struck the victim.

After Wednesday's hearing, all charges against McCoy were bound over to Carbon County court for trial. He remains free on unsecured bail.

McCoy will be formally arraigned next month.