A Palm man, who fled the scene after running down a 20-year-old woman in a busy area intersection, has been sentenced to jail time.
Christopher Krchnavi Jr., 25, of the 800 block of Gravel Pike, pled guilty last week in Montgomery County Court to one felony charge of accidents involving personal injury while not properly licensed in connection with a hit-and-run Dec. 2, 2012 at 1:45 a.m. at Route 663 and Main Street in Pennsburg.
The crash left the woman with serious injuries.
Judge William R. Carpenter sentenced him to nine to 23 months in county jail as part of a plea agreement. Under that agreement, Krchnavi will have to complete three years’ probation after he’s paroled.
According to court documents, Krchnavi was driving his pickup truck north on Route 663, crossing over Main Street, when he hit Nedra Magargal of East Greenville in the crosswalk, knocking her onto the road. Police said the impact broke the mirror off Krchnavi’s truck.
Three good Samaritans rescued Magargal from the intersection as witnesses said traffic continued to “buzz” by her, with one vehicle almost striking her a second time.
Magargal was taken to Lehigh Valley Medical Center, where she was admitted in critical condition. She sustained three separate brain bleeds, a hip injury and other bumps and bruises. She was released several days later.
Upper Perk Police said they found no evidence Krchnavi applied the brakes before or after hitting Magargal. His driver’s license had been suspended for two years and he was uninsured at the time of the crime.
Krchnavi, police alleged, switched the broken mirror from the crash with another from a Penn Street, Pennsburg garage. He then went on to a home in the 600 block of Daisy Lane in Pennsburg, police said, where one woman said she witnessed Krchnavi arrive at the home in a “panic,” stating he thought he hit a person with his truck in Pennsburg.
Court documents went on to say a second woman at the party spoke to Krchnavi after his arrival at the party and smelled alcohol coming from his breath/person. Krchnavi reportedly told the woman he was “drunk.”
Police said they later obtained a photo of Krchnavi at an area bar, via social media, holding an open bottle of beer prior to the collision.
According to the arrest affidavit, Krchnavi later confessed to police, saying he “freaked out” and “didn’t know what to do” after the accident.
Krchnavi has a long history of run-ins with police, including a June 2010 charge of failing to stop/render aid at the scene of a Red Hill accident and a March 2012 arrest for recklessly endangering another person and disorderly conduct.
Nedra Magargal’s family said while the accident was months ago, she still suffers migraines and pain. She had undergone multiple tests since the accident and reportedly is still recuperating.
But perhaps more importantly, the emotional damage remains.
“She’s 20 years old and is paranoid to cross even the side streets in town,” said her mother, Tawnda Magargal. “This is the same girl who would run out the door if a friend needed her…In essence, she will have invisible scars from this all the days of her life.”
Tawnda Magargal said she is disappointed Krchnavi’s sentence amounted to a slap on the wrist for treating her daughter like “human refuse.”
“I guess we can only hope he never gets behind the wheel again but, let’s face it, no license, no insurance, no humanity, no respect for the legal consequences […], so what makes anyone think he’ll suddenly abide by the law.
“[I hope] that somewhere, deep in his dark soul, he will feel remorse for striking another human being down, not knowing if they were alive or not, and driving off like all that matters is replacing his mirror.”
She noted Nedra’s medical expenses have reached the policy’s limits. Medical care was being covered by the family’s vehicle insurance as Krchnavi was uninsured.
Court-ordered restitution, to cover out-of-pocket expenses, will be determined at a later date, court officials said.