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Lower Macungie Township man arrested in fatal bicycle crash

A Lower Macungie Township motorist was arrested in a crash in which a bicyclist was fatally injured 18 months ago, according to a news release from the office of Lehigh County District Attorney.

The release, dated Sept. 28, announced the arrest of Anthony Michael Rutch, 49.

Rutch surrendered the morning of the announcement, according to authorities.

Rutch is charged with alleged “accidents involving death or personal injury, a felony of the second degree; homicide by vehicle, a felony of the third degree; involuntary manslaughter, a misdemeanor of the first degree; recklessly endangering another person, a misdemeanor of the second degree; and several summary offenses” in the death of bicyclist Alexander Zarnas, 36, according to authorities.

Court documents include charges of alleged careless driving - unintentional death as well as reckless driving and passing left of a pedalcycle.

The news release provides the following details of the incident:

At 5:06 p.m. March 9, 2021, Pennsylvania State Police were called to a report of a bicyclist struck by a car in the 6600 block of Mountain Road, Lower Macungie Township.

The vehicle in the accident was described as a black luxury car with front end damage. The car did not remain on the scene.

Zarnas, the cyclist, died from multiple blunt force injuries and his death was ruled an accident in an autopsy by the Lehigh County Coroner, according to authorities.

Several witnesses told investigators that at the time of the crash, they saw a vehicle allegedly driven by Rutch leave the scene and return to his home located on a nearby road.

The car had front-end damage consistent with the crash, according to authorities.

Investigators determined Rutch was driving the car when it struck Zarnas.

In news coverage of the accident at the time of the accident, Zarnas was described as westbound on Mountain Road when a vehicle allegedly struck the rear of the bicycle. The cyclist was ejected from the bicycle, struck the front windshield of the vehicle and was thrown into the air before landing on an embankment.

The vehicle allegedly continued westbound and the motorist allegedly failed to stop or to call 911.

A passing motorist contacted authorities while following the vehicle allegedly involved in the crash until state police troopers arrived, according to news accounts at the time of the accident.

Lehigh Valley Hospital personnel contacted state police 11:50 p.m. March 11, 2021, with notification of the death of the cyclist.

According to his obituary, Zarnas graduated from Parkland High School in 2003 and Bloomsburg University in 2007.

Zarnas was a co-founder and partner of Lehigh Valley Insurance Brokers. His survivors include his wife and three children.