Church van driver killed in hit-and-run

- The search is on for the driver who ran down a church van driver, killing him. The driver who hit him left the scene, but also left the car's Saab logo, giving investigators a clue.

Ellie Leon, 57, had just dropped members of a rehab group off at their residence when the tragedy happened, late Thursday night near Front and Diamond streets, under the elevated train in Kensington.

Police say he was stepping from the van when a passing vehicle hit him and his open driver's side door.

The crash almost tore the church van’s door off. Leon was dragged about 15 feet.

Then, the driver took off, headed north up Front Street.

Police reviewing surveillance video from nearby businesses said the fleeing car was a dark-colored, older model Saab.

Investigators recovered a thin chrome insert with the Saab logo at the scene. They say the logo fits in the center of the front grill, so the actual car would be without the logo.

They are looking for a dark 1998-2008 Saab with front passenger side fender damage and a flat front passenger side tire. They say the passenger side view mirror casing should be black and have significant scuffing at the outer edge. Also, the passenger side edge of the front windshield may be damaged.

Anyone with information on the driver or the car should call police at 215-685-3180 or 215-685-3181.

Ellie Leon's brother, Willie Leon, told FOX 29’s Steve Keeley that Ellie volunteered preaching at the church, and helped people in the church's alcohol and drug rehab program.  

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In – includes Advertiser Stories