Man charged in fatal 2018 South Philadelphia crash

It's been two years since a woman was killed saving the life of her daughter from a careening vehicle in South Philadelphia. Now, a family is finally getting a sense of justice after an arrest was made. 

Joseph Jacovelli still has fond memories of his sister Maria. He's waited two long years for an arrest in the death of his 46-year-old sister back in March 2018. 

"I was like finally we got some justice for my sister when they caught him," Jacovelli told FOX 29.

On Wednesday, police announced the arrest of 41-year-old Michael Pelfrey on vehicular homicide, DUI and numerous other charges after a horrific accident stretching two blocks from 23rd and Passyunk to 23rd and Jackson in South Philly. At the last second, Maria shoved her daughter out of the path of a speeding and careening minivan, saving her life, but costing Maria her own.

 "I think that was a fantastic thing that she did pushing her daughter out of the way. She saved her daughter and jeopardized herself," Jacovelli said.

Police say Pelfry stayed on the scene the night of the accident and claimed he had a seizure when toxicology tests came back, police got a warrant, but they couldn’t locate him after he left the area.

Last week, police in Bangor, Maine stopped and arrested Pelfrey on the outstanding warrant.

"It's like a void that can't be filled because she's missing," he said.

Jacovelli says his sister is sorely missed by her very large family. It’s been a rough two years waiting for an arrest in the case, but now Pelfrey is behind bars awaiting trial. Jacovelli says he'll be there every step of the way.


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