A Philadelphia woman is facing criminal charges after striking a Morrisville man with her minivan as he walked his dog near the New Hope-Lambertville Bridge on Feb. 1.
Georgina Papa, 18, was charged Feb. 25 with causing an accident involving injury while not licensed, and aggravated assault by vehicle — both felonies — along with recklessly endangering another person, driving without a license, reckless driving, driving on the sidewalk, and carrying a false identification card.
Also charged in the incident is her mother, Nancy Raquel Papa, 48, of Philadelphia, who was a passenger in the minivan along with two of her younger children. She is accused of giving false information to the police and permitting her daughter to drive without a license, both considered summary offenses.
Paul Stancker, 53, is said to be recovering at home from severe injuries sustained when he was struck by the vehicle. His dog was reportedly uninjured.
Surveillance video from cameras at the intersection and on the bridge show Papa driving north on South Main Street in a 2014 Toyota Sienna, then turning right onto East Bridge Street, police say. She drove over the curb, striking a garbage can, then hit Stancker head-on as he walked west on the sidewalk.
The impact of the collision forced Stancker onto the hood and windshield of the minivan, where he was carried several feet before the vehicle struck a utility pole, sending him flying another 10 feet onto the sidewalk, according to the police report. Police arriving on the scene found him unconscious and bleeding from the mouth.
Stancker suffered skull, facial, and rib fractures, along with severe bleeding around his brain, and was taken to St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne.
Police allege that Papa “recklessly or with gross negligence caused serious bodily injury to another person” while driving without a valid driver’s license. They say she also possessed a fake Ohio driver’s license falsely identifying her as being 21 or older.
Papa’s lawyer said the charges are inappropriate.
“It’s not a crime, it’s a car accident,” said Robert Madden. “She feels horrible that somebody was hurt, she wants justice to happen for the guy injured, but justice is not served by her being inappropriately charged with a crime.”
Madden also said that charging her with carrying a false identification card made no sense.
“She is an 18-year-old who had a fake ID,” he said. “She didn’t show it to them. It has nothing to do with this.”
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 23.