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Suspect in fatal crash taken into custody

An Allentown man was taken into custody in a crash in February in which a Macungie pedestrian was fatally injured.

In a news release dated May 12, authorities announced Jose Rainer Gonzales-Roman, now 29, was taken into custody May 11 and was held in Lehigh County Jail.

In March Gonzales-Roman, then 28, was charged in the death of Steven Bernhard, 39, who was struck by a vehicle allegedly driven by Gonzalez-Roman, according to authorities.

Charges against Gonzales-Roman include alleged homicide by vehicle and accidents involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed, both felonies of the third degree; accidents involving death or personal injury; a felony of the second degree and summary charges of immediate notice of an accident to police, driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked, reckless driving and duty to give information and render aid.

An earlier report from the Lehigh County Coroner office detailed an autopsy determined the cause of death of Bernhard as multiple blunt force trauma.

Bernhard died in the hospital where he was taken after the crash, according to authorities.

Authorities outline the circumstances of the crash as follows:

At approximately 3:30 a.m. Feb. 15, an Allentown Police Department officer observed a white vehicle speeding in the 1000 block of Tilghman Street in the City of Allentown.

When the officer attempted to catch up to the car and see the license plate, the officer found a seriously injured man in the road at North 17th Street and Sumner Avenue.

The man, later identified as Bernhard, was unresponsive at the time he was found by police, according to authorities.

A driver’s side mirror and other debris were found near Bernhard. The vehicle, however, left the scene.

Surveillance video from the area of the crash showed a speeding vehicle as it struck Bernhard.

Investigators learned Gonzales-Roman allegedly was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash.

According to court documents, Gonzales-Roman was confined to Lehigh County Jail May 11.