Road rage killer gets 12-24 years in prison, must complete an anger management course

Road rage killer gets 12-24 years in prison, must complete an anger management course

(As originally published, Wed, November 29th 2023, 9:51 PM EST)

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (TND) — The man who intentionally ran over another man in the parking lot of a McDonald’s outside Philadelphia and then escaped has been sentenced to prison and more.

Daniel Stephen Dietrich, 46, pleaded guilty and negotiated for nine to 18 years for voluntary manslaughter, and three to six years for accidents involving death or personal injury. That’s 12 to 24 years.

He was also driving on a suspended driver’s license.

Plus, Dietrich was ordered to undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation, complete an anger management course, and pay the victim’s family for funeral costs.

Dietrich struck and killed 47-year-old Jason Smith with his pickup truck, this past Feb. 5, and then drove away.

Dietrich wasn’t arrested until a month later.

The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office said an investigation found the men had been involved in a “driving incident” about a mile before they arrived at the McDonald’s.

Surveillance footage showed Smith’s Nissan entering the parking lot and seconds later, “Dietrich pulled his truck along the right side of Smith’s car, then stopped in the entrance-way area, blocking the entrance to other traffic.”

After that, “Dietrich maneuvered his truck in front of Smith, blocked Smith’s possible forward motion, and backed into a parking spot.

“Smith then got out of his car, opened his trunk, retrieved a hammer, and began to approach Dietrich’s truck, the surveillance footage showed.

“As Smith got close, Dietrich accelerated and made a hard left turn into Smith. Dietrich knocked Smith to the ground, drove over him, and continued driving out of the McDonald’s parking lot.”

Road rage killer gets 12-24 years in prison, must complete an anger management course
Besides prison, Daniel Stephen Dietrich was ordered to undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation, complete an anger management course, and pay the victim’s family for funeral costs. (Bucks Co. District Attorney’s Office)

Authorities pointed out, “Dietrich never stopped, rendered aid, or called for help, and driving records showed that he was driving with a suspended license.”

They also said Dietrich was able to “exit out of the parking spot by driving to the right, the surveillance footage showed,” but he hit Smith instead.

Wednesday, the judge heard several emotional victim impact statements from Smith’s parents, daughter, fiancé, and friends.

“I not only lost my dad, but I lost a huge part of me that I will never get back,” his daughter said.

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