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September 22, 2018

Oswego County DA to Oversee Criminal Case Following Fatal Syracuse Hit and Run Accident


SYRACUSE, NY – Oswego County District Attorney Greg Oakes is handling the criminal case against former investigator for the Onondaga County District Attorney’s office, 37-year-old Peter J. Rauch of Liverpool after he allegedly struck an 18-year-old man with his vehicle and fled the scene on Tuesday (March 21) at 1:30 a.m.

Peter J. Rauch
(Syracuse Police Photo)

A news release from Syracuse Police indicated Rauch was alleged to have struck Seth M. Collier with his vehicle on North Salina Street at Bear Street in Syracuse in the early hours of Tuesday morning and fled the scene to the Pastime Athletic Club parking lot on Pastime Drive where he parked the car, never having reported the incident.

Collier was left unconscious in the roadway with what court documents describe as life threatening injuries consisting of cranial hemorrhaging and a puncture wound to his right hamstring.

He was immediately taken to Upstate University Hospital where he was listed in critical condition upon admittance, however, Syracuse Police have since confirmed that Collier succumbed to his injuries at 3:36 p.m. on Thursday, March 23.

A police investigation led to the discovery of the suspect vehicle, a 2010 Chevrolet Impala registered to the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office where Rauch was employed and was assigned solely to Rauch, court documents revealed.

A front passenger witness in the vehicle at the time identified Rauch as the driver of the vehicle at the time of the crash and a cell phone as well as an Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office identification card belonging to Rauch were found within the suspect vehicle.

Rauch pleaded not guilty the day following the accident (Weds, March 22) to the initial charge of leaving the scene of a serious personal injury accident and was later released from the Onondaga County Justice Center after posting bail, multiple Syracuse area news sources have reported.

Additional charges are likely to follow as a result of Collier’s death.

Oakes will oversee the criminal case against Rauch due to his connections to the Onondaga County District Attorney’s office where he was previously employed.

Rauch was fired from his job with the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office just hours after the accident occurred on Tuesday. Another city employee, this time of the Syracuse Fire Department, is also facing repercussions from the fatal accident.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner released a statement explaining that the city of Syracuse “suspended firefighter Edward Ackerman, without pay, effective March 21, 2017 pending an investigation into a hit-and-run accident on North Salina Street.”

Ackerman is listed as the president on the Pastime Athletic Club Board of Directors, the parking lot of which Rauch’s car was found following the accident.

The investigation is continuing under the Syracuse Police Department Traffic Division. Anyone with information is asked to call police at (315)442-5130, all calls will remain anonymous.

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