Road Rage Driver Who Ran Down Victim In PA McDonald's ID'd As NJ Man: Authorities

Over a month after 47-year-old Jason Smith of Levittown was run over and killed in the parking lot of a Bristol McDonald's, authorities say they found the driver responsible. 

Daniel Dietrich, 45, of Palmyra, New Jersey
Daniel Dietrich, 45, of Palmyra, New Jersey Photo Credit: Bucks County District Attorney's Office

Daniel S. Dietrich, 45, of Palmyra, New Jersey, was arrested Friday, March 10, and charged with homicide, driving on a suspended license, and related counts, said Bucks District Attorney Matthew Weintraub. 

Prosecutors say Smith and Dietrich had already been involved in a "driving incident" about a mile away before they both arrived at the 7700 Bristol Pike McDonald's at 4 p.m. on Feb. 5. 

Police claimed that security cameras from the Mcdonald's recorded Smith trying to pull into the parking lot, with Dietrich continually blocking his way. 

"At the restaurant, surveillance footage captured Smith’s Nissan entering the McDonald’s parking lot from the Haines Road entrance. Seconds later, Dietrich pulled his truck along the right side of Smith’s car, then stopped in the entrance-way area, blocking the entrance to other traffic," the DA wrote. 

"Dietrich maneuvered his truck in front of Smith, blocking Smith’s possible forward motion," Weintraub continued. "He then backed into a parking spot, so that the front of his truck is angled toward the north side of the parking lot and away from where he entered the McDonald’s parking lot."

That's when prosecutors believe the 47-year-old Smith exited his car and retrieved a hammer from his trunk. Just as Smith approached Dietrich's truck with the hammer, Dietrich cut hard left and ran Smith over, authorities claimed. 

Smith was knocked to the ground and Dietrich ran him over with front and back driver's side wheels, police alleged. They said he did not slow down after hitting Smith and fled northbound onto Route 13. 

Weintraub said Dietrich "had an alternative, clear exit out of the parking spot" without hitting Smith. 

The 45-year-old New Jersey resident was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Kevin P. Wagner on Friday and denied bail. He remains locked up at the Bucks County jail ahead of his next hearing on March 21, state court records show. 

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