ITHACA, N.Y. –– Police say they’ve arrested a drunk driver who struck two young teens in the Town of Ithaca Wednesday evening before fleeing the scene. One of the teens, a 14-year-old girl, reportedly died from her injuries sustained from the incident.

Robert J Defelice, 37, of Ithaca has been charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident and Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree –– a Class D Felony.

The incident was reported, according to the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, just after 6:20 p.m. A release from the Sheriff’s office states that when deputies arrived on scene on the 1400 block of Trumansburg Road they found two girls, a 14-year-old and 13-year-old, injured and evidence of the hit and run in the form of a car grill with a Volvo emblem on it.

Both girls were transported to Cayuga Medical Center to be treated for their injuries.

The Sheriff’s Office states in its official press release that around 6:40 p.m., immediately following the incident, a call came into the County Dispatch Center reporting that a grey Volvo with a “smashed” windshield drove by the Ithaca Police Department headquarters. According to the narrative of the Sheriff’s Office report, IPD was then able to locate said vehicle on Danby Road and made an arrest.

Defelice was said to be intoxicated and was subsequently arrested.

The 14-year-old died from her injuries “shortly after the arrest” according to the Sheriff’s Office. The 13-year-old sustained a broken arm and is reportedly in stable condition.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at