Lehigh Valley

Man charged in deadly hit-and-run gets probation

EASTON, Pa. - Weeks before a Northampton County man was set to go on trial in a in a deadly hit-and-run, a plea deal was reached.

Collin Cashau, 24, pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter and received a sentence of five years probation, but he still faces a civil suit from the victim's family.

Attorneys for the prosecution and defense said this is one of the toughest cases they have had to deal with, but both sides feel the plea agreement is a fair one.

"It was going to be a coin flip, if they could prove it he goes to jail for a year, mandatory minimum,” said Cashau’s attorney, Gary Asteak.

Cashau was facing several charges after a December 5, 2015 hit-and-run accident on Belfast Road in Bushkill Township. Kyle Smith, 35, was lying in the road and was hit.

The prosecution told a judge the Commonwealth didn't have significant or credible evidence to prove Cashau knew or should have known he hit a human, and offered a plea deal.

Cashau pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter and avoided jail time, instead of going to trial.

"It's a strange world with juries and we weren't prepared to take that risk because it could have gone either way," added Asteak.

The decision didn't sit well with the family of Kyle Smith.

"I think they are disappointed with the outcome,” said Colin Monahan, attorney for the Smith family. “I do think they understand why it got to be the outcome that we had. Not we but the Commonwealth."

Smith's family has filed a civil lawsuit and Monahan says the criminal case shouldn't affect the lawsuit. In a civil case, the plaintiff needs to prove a different standard.

"What would a reasonable person do in a certain situation,” said Monahan. “I think it is pretty easy to say that most people when they hit something with their car, stop and see what the heck happened, what it was."

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