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Documents: Man accused in fatal Fulton County hit-and-run knew he hit something, he told police

Documents: Man accused in fatal Fulton County hit-and-run knew he hit something, he told police

Documents: Man accused in fatal Fulton County hit-and-run knew he hit something, he told police
Near the scene of the hit-and-run
Photographer: Gazette

NORTHAMPTON -- Soon after police in Pennsylvania caught up with Mayfield resident Derrick H. Carlisle Sunday night, Carlisle admitted he knew he'd hit something, according to the Pennsylvania criminal complaint filed in a case against him there.

The officer who had just read Carlisle his rights then inquired further.

"I asked him if he knew what he hit," the officer wrote in an affidavit included in the complaint, "and he remained silent."

Carlisle, 44, of Northville, was taken into custody Sunday night in Point Township, Pa., about 14 hours after the body of 46-year-old Andria Berger was discovered along a stretch of Route 30, near an outdoor equipment store. Point Township is about 300 miles south of where Berger was killed.

Berger was a longtime advocate for disability rights, working passionately to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. She worked in Amsterdam for the Resource Center for Independent Living.

An arrest warrant is now out for Carlisle in connection with Berger's death, charging him with leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

Carlisle, however, also now faces charges related to stolen property and a gun found with him in Pennsylvania, authorities there say. Both of those charges are also felonies. He remains in custody there on $60,000 bail.

New York State Police have offered little information on how they found Carlisle in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania complaint, however, fills in some of those blanks, including what led the Pennsylvania officer to stop Carlisle in the first place.

State police in Fulton County quickly zeroed in on a red truck as the vehicle they believed hit Berger and fled the scene. Troopers put out a general description of the type of vehicle they were looking for Sunday afternoon.

But by Sunday night, state police had zeroed in on Carlisle and his red 2015 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck in Point Township, according to the Pennsylvania complaint.

They were tracking him remotely via On Star, the complaint reads.

Troopers contacted police in Point Township, just off Interstate 80 and about 80 miles southwest of Scranton, and asked them to locate a red 2015 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. State police said they believed the vehicle was involved in the hit-and-run and would have front passenger side damage. 

State police also relayed they believed Carlisle was operating it and that there was a firearm in the vehicle, the complaint reads.

The Pennsylvania officer soon after located Carlisle and the truck. He was taken into custody without incident. The officer read him his rights and told Carlisle he was being detained for the crash in New York.

The officer asked Carlisle about the firearm. Carlisle confirmed it was in the vehicle and that he did not have a license to carry it, the affidavit reads. Carlisle also allegedly told the officer that he could not legally own a firearm.

Police obtained a search warrant and  recovered the gun, a silver and black Ruger LCP .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol with six rounds of ammunition, the affidavit reads.

Police ran a check on the weapon and determined it had been reported stolen Oct. 28 in Saratoga Springs.

The officer asked Carlisle about the gun and Carlisle responded, "I found it at a marina where I work," the affidavit reads.

The officer told Carlisle he would be charged with receiving stolen property, to which Carlisle responded he didn't know it was stolen, the affidavit reads.

"I informed him the appropriate thing to do would have been notifying a police department that he found the firearm," the officer wrote. "He related he understood."

The stolen property charge carries a maximum sentence upon conviction in Pennsylvania of 10 years, while the firearms charge carries a maximum possible sentence upon conviction of 7 years. 

The leaving the scene of a fatal accident charge in Fulton County also carries a maximum possible sentence of up to seven years.

Still unclear is why state police suspected Carlisle and his truck in the first place. However, they had interacted with Carlisle in his red 2015 Chevrolet Silverado seven months earlier on Route 30, several miles south of the hit-and-run scene. Carlisle was charged then with DWI after tests showed him to have a blood alcohol content of 0.13, police said.

He later pleaded guilty in that case to driving while ability impaired and paid a fine, records show.

Services for Berger are scheduled for this Sunday in Colonie, her obituary reads. Visitation is scheduled for noon to 2 p.m., with a celebration of her life to be held at 2 p.m. at New Comer Cremations and Funerals in Colonie.

"Andria Berger a beloved daughter, sister, cousin and aunt was taken from us too soon," her obituary reads. "She was a true advocate, champion and a voice of people with disabilities fighting for their care and rights."

Pennsylvania coverage from The Sunbury (Pa.) Daily Item: Man wanted in fatal hit-and-run in New York tracked to Point Township with GPS

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