NORRISTOWN — A Norristown man admitted he was driving a vehicle without proper license when he struck and killed a pedestrian, a 67-year-old Vietnam veteran, on a street in the borough.
Nemias Perez Severiano, 33, of the 200 block of East Main Street, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County Court to a felony charge of accidents causing death or injury while not in possession of a ‘A permit in connection with the 6:24 p.m. pedestrian crash on November 10, 2019. that killed Samuel W. Jackson, of Norristown.
As part of a plea deal, Severiano was sentenced to 2½ to 5 years in state prison and credited for the time he served in prison since his arrest on November 12, 2019. Although Severiano has already served his minimum sentence, state parole officials will determine when Severiano will be paroled and released.
Severiano is also facing a review of his immigration status by US immigration authorities. Additional information about Severiano’s immigration status was not available.
“Mr. Severiano expresses extreme remorse for his actions that night and the tragedy that followed. It was never his intention to harm anyone and with this appeal I hope the healing process can continue,” defense attorney Andrew Joseph Levin said on behalf of Severiano.
The sentence was handed down by Judge Thomas P. Rogers.
The investigation began when Norristown Police responded to the Astor and West Oak Streets area for a report of a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle.
“Responding officers were advised that the striking vehicle had fled the scene and was not on scene,” Norristown Detectives Charles Leeds and Stephen Sowell said in the arrest affidavit.
Arriving officers found an unconscious Jackson lying on the street in the 600 block of Astor Street and he was transported to Mercy Suburban Hospital. Jackson was pronounced dead at 6:59 p.m., according to court documents.
A subsequent autopsy determined that Jackson died of multiple injuries.
Police located Jackson’s vehicle parked facing south along the Astor Street sidewalk just south of West Oak Street and observed that the driver’s side entrance door was open. Jackson’s body came to rest in the middle of Astor Street, just south of the location of his vehicle, detectives said.
“Mr. Jackson’s shoes and hat were recovered from the scene when the impact exchange knocked his feet out of his shoes,” Leeds and Sowell claimed.
Investigation by Norristown and county detectives determined that Jackson had exited his parked vehicle and was standing near the open driver’s side door when a vehicle came from West Oak Street and turned right onto Astor Street. in a southerly direction.
The front of the striking vehicle struck Jackson, knocking him to the ground and dragging him about 55 feet from the point of impact in the center of Astor Street, according to the criminal complaint.
“Due to the violent forces exchanged on impact, Mr. Jackson was knocked off his shoes as well as his glasses and hat were dislodged,” Leeds and Sowell wrote.
Plastic sections of the striking vehicle were recovered from the scene and they matched parts of a Toyota Scion, detectives said.
Detectives used footage from CCTV cameras in the area to identify a 2009 Toyota Scion operated by Severiano. The vehicle was registered in the name of a relative of Severiano, according to court documents.
When detectives interviewed Severiano on Nov. 11, he said he went to the La Poblanita bar on West Marshall Street between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. and consumed seven to eight beers, according to the criminal complaint.
“He informed detectives that when he left the bar he was ‘a little drunk,'” according to the arrest affidavit.
Severiano allegedly told detectives he left the bar and traveled along Chain Street to Oak Street and when he turned into Astor Street he “heard a noise”, according to the criminal complaint.
The investigation determined that Severiano did not have a valid driver’s license at the time of the alleged incident.
Other charges of recklessly endangering another person, reckless and reckless driving, failure to give immediate notice of the accident and failure to provide information and help Severiano were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.