ShareThis Page

Man to face DUI-homicide trial for Route 28 wreck

Chuck Biedka
| Friday, March 7, 2014, 4:38 p.m.

Jared Schillinger drank beer in a Station Square bar in Pittsburgh just before he drove his car into the rear of a woman's Hyundai, killing her on Route 28 in Sharpsburg a year ago, a prosecutor alleged at the man's hearing on Friday.

Assistant District Attorney Evan Anthony Lowry II said Schillinger, 29, of Indiana Township had been drinking beer at a second bar and a brewery that day before he got behind the wheel of his car and headed out of Pittsburgh at about 11 p.m. Feb. 16, 2013.

About 15 minutes later, his car smashed into the rear of Rikki Fleming's car, and the 18-year-old woman from Etna was killed along Route 28, about a half-mile north of Exit 5, state police said.

Records show troopers were alerted at 11:16 p.m.

Fleming was pronounced dead at the scene 13 minutes later.

State police said Schillinger had a blood alcohol content of 0.23 percent that night — almost three times the legal limit.

At Friday's hearing, District Judge Beth Mills held nine charges to court including homicide by vehicle while driving drunk, and involuntary manslaughter.

Also held to court were charges of careless and reckless driving, not driving at a safe speed, two counts of drunken driving and causing an accident while drunk.

Lowry asked Mills to increase Schillinger's bond from an unsecured bond he has been on for a year, but defense attorney Christopher Urbano said that would be unfair because Schillinger has exhibited good behavior for the past year.

Mills ordered Schillinger to remain on $75,000 unsecured bond, but added conditions that he drive only to and from work, that he not drink alcohol and stay out of any establishment that sells or serves alcohol.

Witness Susan Wallish testified that she saw a car approach from behind her SUV at a rapid rate of speed. She said she slowed down on Route 279 North near PNC Park and she saw the car take the Route 28 North exit.

Wallish said she clearly saw that car ahead of her on the Route 28 ramp and then saw it pull into traffic.

“He was driving at a very high rate of speed and weaving in and out of traffic,” she testified.

Wallish said she next saw the car at the accident where state police allege it slammed into the rear of Fleming's car.

State police said Fleming's car was pushed over a concrete curb and up a steep embankment before tipping over and rolling and flipping backward.

Fleming was ejected and died.

Two state troopers who responded to the accident that night testified that Schillinger appeared to be under the influence of alcohol when they talked with him and that he failed field sobriety tests given at the scene.

Urbano asked why it took a year for police to file charges against Schillinger, but his question was not answered at the hearing.

“This has been very prejudicial to my client,” he said.

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.