UPDATE: Suspect in Double Fatal Hit and Run Pleads Guilty

By: Kristine Vandenbroek
By: Kristine Vandenbroek
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ROCK COUNTY (WIFR) -- The man accused of killing two motorcyclists in a hit and run crash in Janesville on Easter says he's did it.

Sambath Pal, 24, plead guilty Thursday in court, reversing the not guilty plea a judge entered for him back on May 16 when Pal stood speechless in court.

The Janesville Gazette reports he was not offered a plea deal. Pal admitted to causing the crash that killed Mitchell Vance, 24, and Devin Julius, 18, on U.S. Highway 14 in Rock County. Sentencing is scheduled for Octorber 1.



UPDATE: JANESVILLE (WIFR) – The man accused in a double fatal hit and run near Janesville has made his first court appearance. 24-year-old Sambath Pal was extradited from Lake County, Illinois to Rock County Jail last night. Pal is suspected of hitting two motorcyclists when crossing the centerline on Easter Sunday.


UPDATE: JANESVILLE (WIFR) – The father of the man charged in a double fatal hit-and-run in Rock County is the one who tipped off authorities.

Court documents show the suspect’s dad called police after finding damage to the SUV.

24-year-old Sambath Pal is accused of causing an accident that killed two motorcyclists on Easter Sunday. According to the criminal complaint, Pal’s father called the Rock County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday. He said his son wouldn’t explain the damage and he didn’t stop to check what he hit. He was arrested later that day.

Pal is still in a Park City Jail just north of Chicago where he lives now. His extradition hearing to be transferred to Rock County is scheduled for Thursday.


JANESVILLE (WIFR) -- Police believe they have the man responsible for killing two motorcyclists on Easter Sunday.
Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden says the suspected driver would not be in jail if it wasn't for that anonymous tipster who led them right to the SUV and driver, more than 80 miles away in Park City Illinois.

Sambath Pal, 24, is now charged with two counts of hit and run causing death. Investigators say he was in the Janesville area for Easter when they say he hit Devin Julius,18, and Mitchell Vance, 24, on Highway 14.

There's now a memorial on the side of the highway marking the spot where the motorcyclists were hit. One of the victim's fathers stopped by the site to pay tribute and simply said, “They got him.”

Friends also say they're happy the suspected killer is in jail.

"It’s not okay, he should have just pulled over. The person that called 911, I would have done the same thing. I don't care if it was my own family member, I would have done the same thing and I honor the person that called 911," Cory Volkey, Vance’s friend, said.

Pal is being held in the Lake County Jail and will be extradited back to Rock County.

Two memorial runs are scheduled this weekend for the fallen riders. WSBR’s Spring Kick-Off ride starts at 3:15pm Saturday at Wicked Moto Parts in West Allis, Wisconsin. It will end at the crash site near Janesville at 5pm.

The Devin Julius Memorial Cruise starts at 11am Sunday at Freedom High School. It ends at the crash site around 2:30pm.


UPDATE: We are told an arrest has been made in Sunday’s double fatal hit-and-run crash in Rock County.

Two motorcyclists were killed in the crash on Easter Sunday.

Detectives say they received information from an anonymous caller about a black 2004 Infiniti with front-end damage in Park City, Illinois. We're told detectives were able to work with Park City police to locate the suspected vehicle and detain the cars' owner until Rock County detectives arrived in Park City.

24-year-old Sambath Pal was arrested and is currently in custody at the Lake County Jail for two counts of hit and run causing death and is awaiting extradition back to Rock County. We're told the vehicle will be compared to the evidence found at the scene. Police say Pal also has a past criminal record of theft.

Investigators say that at this point, there is no information to believe alcohol was involved.

We will continue to update you as we learn more.


UPDATE: The Rock County Sheriff’s Office Detective’s have continued to work on identifying the suspect vehicle that fled the scene of the accident in which two motorcyclists were killed on Easter Sunday.

While inspecting additional debris from the suspect vehicle that was collected at the accident scene, another part number was located. Personnel from the local Nissan dealership determined that this number was specific to a vehicle part used only on a 2004 – 2007 Infinity QX56. They also learned that the fog light that we previously said was from a 2001 – 2003 QX4 was used again on the Infinity QX56 for model years 2004 – 2007. The Infinity QX56 is a larger version of the QX4.

The Rock County Sheriff’s Office is now asking for the public’s help to locate the suspect vehicle, which is now believed to be a 2004 - 2007 Infinity QX56.

Anyone having information about this accident or about the suspect vehicle can contact the Rock County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau at 608-757-7923, Janesville Area Crime Stoppers at 608-756-3636, the Greater Beloit Area Crime Stoppers at 608-362-7463, or text “CRIMES” (274637) key word JACS or BACS then your message.

You can also submit tips through the Janesville Area Crime Stoppers web site www.stopjanesvillecrime.com or the Greater Beloit Area Crime Stoppers web site www.gbacrimestoppers.com.


UPDATE: Rock County Police say the the suspect vehicle involved in a fatal hit and run may be a 2001 to 2003 Infinity QX4.

During the investigation of a hit and run accident in Rock County that killed two motorcyclists, police found what was believed to be part of a headlight assembly from a Nissan vehicle.

A local Nissan dealership and auto repair shop were contacted and detectives and personnel from both businesses determined the light assembly was actually a bumper mounted fog light from a 2001 to 2003 Infinity QX4. It is from the driver's side of the suspect vehicle. Witnesses to the accident say the vehicle may be dark in color, possibly dark blue or black.

Anyone having information about this accident or about the suspect vehicle can contact the Rock County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau at 608-757-7923, Janesville Area Crime Stoppers at 608-756-3636, the Greater Beloit Area Crime Stoppers at 608-362-7463, or text “CRIMES” (274637) key word JACS or BACS then your message.

You can also submit tips through the Janesville Area Crime Stoppers web site www.stopjanesvillecrime.com or the Greater Beloit Area Crime Stoppers web site www.gbacrimestoppers.com.


ROCK COUNTY (WIFR) -- Two motorcyclists are killed after a hit and run in Rock County.

Rock County deputies along with Janesville police and fire crews were called to U.S. Highway 14 near Harmony Township around 8 pm Sunday where they found 24 year old Mitchell Vance and 18 year old Devin Julius, both lying in the road. Police say the two men, both from Janesville, may have been hit by a mid-sized Nissan SUV, that fled the scene of the crash.

The investigation shows a group of five motorcycles were riding staggered, traveling westbound on Highway 14 behind a car when the car's driver quickly swerved to avoid the SUV that crossed over the centerline traveling eastbound. The SUV struck the lead motorcycle driven by Vance, and then struck the following motorcycle driven by Julius ejecting both men.

The other three motorcycle riders acted quickly and avoided the crash.

Sheriff's officials say Vance was pronounced dead at the scene. Julius died at Mercy Hospital in Janesville.

Police are seeking any information on the mid-sized SUV, possibly a Nissan. The vehicle would likely have front and driver's side damage, including a missing headlight assembly and a missing wheel well cover.

Anyone who sees a vehicle matching this description is strongly urged to call the Rock County Communications Center at (608) 757-2244.


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