Burlington County man arraigned in fatal Camden hit-and-run

Ronald Winzinger was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash.
Ronald Winzinger was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash.
Posted: June 06, 2012

A Burlington County man who police say fled Saturday after his SUV slammed into a vehicle carrying concert-bound country music fans, killing one, was arraigned in Superior Court in Camden Wednesday and held on $150,000 bail.

Ronald Winzinger, 35, of Hainesport, was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident and hindering prosecution. Authorities say they believe he was behind the wheel of a Nissan Xterra near Exit 4 on I-676 in Camden around 11:40 a.m. when it struck a Mazda M3S and a Ford E150 van. Michelle MacInnes, 29, of Jackson Township, Ocean County, a passenger in the Mazda, died of her injuries shortly afterward at Cooper University Hospital.

Investigators say Winzinger left the scene of the accident after assessing its severity. He later bought a tarpaulin and used it to hide his vehicle in Burlington County, officials said.

About seven hours later, a 19-year-old Delaware County man, who authorities say was driving under the influence after taking part in a tailgate party at the same show at Camden’s Susquehana Bank Center, rear-ended a stalled van on the westbound approach to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, injuring four people. A man in the backseat died of a heart attack just before the crash.

The fatal accident was the most severe incident involving a ticketholder for the WXTU-FM 28th Anniversary Concert, a full-day affair at the Camden waterfront that attracted about 25,000 fans to a lineup headlined by Miranda Lambert.

City police arrested 191 people and emergency medical technicians treated 193 for injuries and illnesses, according to Camden authorities. Ten people were transported to area hospitals.

"WXTU is one of our more challenging concerts. The number of arrests and EMT visits is higher in comparison to other events" at the venue, Camden Police Chief Scott Thomson wrote in an e-mail. The department had a "total recall" on Saturday, meaning every available officer was on duty.

Last year, an officer was stabbed in the chest as he directed traffic leaving the WXTU show. The perpetrators were not concertgoers.

"The fact that his backup was on scene and transported him to the Cooper Trauma Center in less than 90 seconds made the difference," according to Thomson, who said that about 200 officers were on the street Saturday. They cited concertgoers for fighting, public drunkenness, and public urination, among other violations. The parking lots at the Susquehanna Center opened at 7 a.m., and the last cars left by midnight, Thomson said.

Live Nation, which handled the operations of the event, did not respond to request for comment.

Natalie Conner, general manager of the Philadelphia Beasley Broadcast Group, which owns WXTU, said incidents happen at all large concert and sporting events. "I’m not going to say anything derogatory about our fans," Conner said Tuesday.

The radio station has staged its annual festival at the Camden center for years.

"We feel very fortunate that we have such a nice facility to host our concerts … and hopefully it boosts [the] … economy in the city," Conner said. In an agreement that dates to 1994, the city receives a portion of the ticket revenue in lieu of property-tax payments from the center.

According to officials, the Mazda and the Ford were stopped in traffic in the right lane on I-676 when they were struck by Winzinger’s Nissan. Winzinger was traveling north at an unsafe speed in the center lane and made a quick lane change in an attempt to exit the highway, authorities said. He was apparently headed to a tattoo parlor, Assistant Prosecutor Joshua Ottenberg said following Winzinger’s arraignment.

State Police said Winzinger, who has a history of speeding tickets and driving with a suspended license, surrendered to troopers at the Bordentown barracks on Monday evening. He did not have a lawyer or family present at his arraignment.

Winzinger is unrelated to the family that owns the Hainesport-based demolition company Winzinger Inc., company spokeswoman Audrey Winzinger said Tuesday.

Kevin Diamond Jr. of Folsom faces charges of assault by auto, underage drunken driving, and having a suspended license for allegedly slamming his vehicle into the back of a Ford van on the bridge, said Tim Ireland, spokesman for the Delaware River Port Authority.

At the time, none of the other five people in the van realized that Pervis Herder, 68, of Philadelphia’s Fairhill section, was dead in the backseat. He seemed to be sleeping. The Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Herder’s death a heart attack and Diamond will not face a vehicular homicide charge, officials said.

Diamond’s blood-alcohol level was found to be 0.08, the threshold for DUI in New Jersey, Ireland said.

Contact Claudia Vargas at 267-815-1953, cvargas@phillynews.com or on Twitter @InqCVargas. Read her blog, "Camden Flow," on Philly.com

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