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Driver to stand trial in Aspinwall boy's death

| Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, 1:41 a.m.

Charges against a North Buffalo Township man in connection with a vehicle crash that killed a 6-year-old boy are headed to Allegheny County Court.

Kirk Fair, 39, is charged with homicide by vehicle and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Elijah Straw of Aspinwall.

A Pittsburgh Municipal Court judge held those charges and 10 other counts for court at a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

Elijah suffered head injuries and died about an hour after the crash on Route 28 near the RIDC Park exit in O'Hara on May 1, 2012.

State police arrested Fair on July 20 after a lengthy investigation and approval of the charges by the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office.

Fair's attorney did not return calls seeking comment.

State police say Elijah was a passenger in a car driven by his father, Thomas Straw, along with his mother, Jennifer Straw, and younger brother, Rowan.

Police said the hood latch on the Straws' car malfunctioned, causing the hood to fly up. Thomas Straw stopped the car in the center lane of the three-lane section of Route 28 north near the RIDC Park exit.

Fair crashed into the back of the car at a speed between 54 and 65 miles per hour, according to the state police accident investigation.

Fair told police he briefly took his eyes off the road. When he looked up, he saw the Straws' car and couldn't stop because his truck was weighed down with work materials.

State police say Fair was reckless and negligent and that he should have been able to stop in time.

Fair has been free on bond since shortly after his arrest.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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