Driver held without bail in Marion fatal hit and run

Pennsylvania State Police troopers Randy Kane (left) and Michele Davis discuss Wednesday’s fatal hit and run with the media Friday morning at the substation in Chambersburg.

The Mercersburg man who police named as a suspect in the Wednesday, March 7, hit and run near Marion that claimed the life of a Greencastle man turned himself in to authorities three days later.

Pennsylvania State Police said Sunday that Leon Chalmers Deardorff Jr., 29, of Mercersburg, voluntarily surrendered to troopers from the Chambersburg barracks in the Borough of Carlisle around 9 p.m. Saturday.

Keith Monninger, 37, of Greencastle, was killed in the 7 p.m. accident March 7 on U.S. 11 at the intersection of Overcash Road and Social Island Road in Guilford Township.

Police said Deardorff was allegedly driving a box truck that collided with the motorcycle Monninger was driving Wednesday evening and left the scene without offering aid.

Police processed Deardorff on charges of homicide by vehicle, accidents involving death or personal injury, accidents involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed and additional misdemeanor and summary offenses.

Sunday morning a judge arraigned Deardorff on the charges and denied bail. Deardorff is in custody in the Franklin County Jail.

According to reports, an acquaintance of Deardorff’s contacted authorities saying that the suspect wanted to turn himself in. On Friday during a news conference at the Chambersburg barracks of the Pennsylvania State Police, troopers said they believed Deardorff may have been in the Landisburg area of Perry County and they asked that he turn himself in to authorities. The Carlisle barracks would be the nearest state police substation to Landisburg.


The box truck which had been identified as the vehicle which left the scene of the accident was recovered on Cameron Street in Harrisburg the next day. Police sought a search warrant and recovered the 2002 Isuzu. An anonymous source gave police information that Deardorff was allegedly driving the truck, said Trooper Michele Davis of the Chamebrsburg barracks.

At the news conference Friday, state police said the owner of the truck fully cooperated with them in identifying the truck and the possible driver, an employee. Davis related that Deardorff's license was suspended on a driving under the influence charge.

Davis said Deardorff was authorized to drive the truck of his employer, however he was not on company time at the hour of the fatal crash.

Monninger, of 1286 Preston Lane, died from injuries suffered after his motorcycle and a light-colored box truck collided at U.S. 11 South and Social Island Road in Guilford Township, according to police. Davis said Friday that the Franklin County Coroner had ruled the cause of death as multiple blunt force injuries.

Police reported the truck pulled out from Overcash Road heading west. It crossed over U.S. 11 while traveling north diagonally to enter the intersection with Social Island Road. Monninger was traveling south on 11. Police originally reported that after the impact, the driver of the truck continued west without stopping, however on Friday Trooper Randy Kane said the truck stopped briefly and left. Kane indicated that the driver would have known that there was a collision.

Police immediately put out a call for information on the unknown truck and driver and announced the arrest around 9 Friday morning.

Anyone with information about the accident or who may have been a witness is asked to contact authorities at 717-264-5161 or 717-263-3000.

Memorial held

A memorial service for Monninger was held Monday evening at Shank’s Church of the Brethren. A 1993 graduate of Greencastle-Antrim High School, Monninger was married to Maria, and they have three children, Jessica, 20, Andrew, 16, and Rachel, 15.

Monninger was the president and co-owner of Custom Cleaning Service Co. Inc. He enjoyed the outdoors, especially hunting, fishing and camping. He was a member of the American Legion Post in Greencastle and the American Legion Riders there. Other hobbies included traveling, woodworking, weight training and cooking.

His full obituary appears on Page A-7.

Memorial donations can be directed to Maria Monninger, 1286 Preston Lane, Greencastle, PA 17225 for the childrens’ education funds.