YORK COUNTY, Pa. — A York man has been convicted on charges related to the hit-and-run death of a four-year-old girl three years ago, according to the York County District Attorney’s Office.
Tony Shower Jr., 35, was found guilty Friday of accident resulting in death or injury and driving under the influence in the November 22, 2016 death of Dakota Wright, the DA’s Office says.
Shower was driving a white utility van in the 200 block of Princess Street in Hanover when the incident occurred. The girl was crossing the street to get to her house when the van hit her, police said at the time.
The vehicle fled after the accident and was stopped by authorities twice, the second time being when police found what appeared to be several strands of hair in the front grill and headlight area, according to police.
The van was secured to preserve evidence and a search warrant was served the next day, which was when authorities observed damaged and the strands of hair about where Wright would have been hit. The van also matched the vehicle seen on surveillance footage near the area of the incident.
Shower was interviewed by police several times during the investigation. He denied driving and knowledge of the accident altogether — adding that he thought the van had hit an animal — in one interview and then in another, said that that he heard a thud and believe the other man in the vehicle hit a child, according to police.
The man, who Shower claimed was in the vehicle with him, had a different version of events. During a recorded call with family members from York County Prison, the man stated he wasn’t driving nor was in the van at the time of the accident. He advised that him and Shower were driving around all day while using drugs and before the accident, Shower dropped him off at a local restaurant.
The man added that Shower made him drive the van when he picked him up, which was when they were stopped by police the first time.
Police re-interviewed a witness at the scene of the accident on October 26, 2018. That person told police he was about 200 feet from where it occurred.
According to police, the witness advised he heard the accident, followed by screaming and turned to see what had happened.
At that point, he saw the white utility van drive away from the scene and that an interior light was on, which led to him seeing the lone driver, a white male with dark facial hair, inside.
Police said the witness was shown two photo lineups, one containing Shower and the other containing the second man.
The witness identified Shower as the driver of the van.