Temple-on-Temple hit-and-run brings jail

Before learning how many years he’d spend in prison, admitted hit-and-run driver Nicholas Hasselback looked at the Temple law student he’d nearly killed in April.

“I can’t begin to understand what you’ve gone through, but I try to,” he said. “I’m sorry.”

The apology wasn’t enough to avoid three to six years in prison. In a packed courtroom, Assistant District Attorney Lynne O’Brien recounted how Hasselback hit Tony Foltz on the Ben Franklin Parkway at 2:36 a.m. despite a passenger warning he was speeding toward pedestrians. Police found the car hidden behind his East Falls apartment and a bag into which he’d swept glass embedded with the victim’s hair and blood.

Hasselback’s mother apologized for the pain “one bad decision” created. Judge Harold M. Kane deemed it a “reckless indifference to the value of human life” and scoffed that character witnesses read from statements. “Speaking from the heart” would have brought a lighter sentence, he said.

“You surrender Jan. 3 in this courtroom,” Kane bellowed at the 23-year-old. “If you don’t come in that day, I’ll hammer you.”

Of the night her son was hit, Foltz’s mother Fran Ryan said, “We were told the next 48 hours were telling, that he probably wasn’t going to die, but to prepare ourselves for anything.”

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