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West Deer man dies in Route 910 crash in Harmar

| Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 5:21 p.m.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Emergency personnel respond to a two-car fatal accident in which a man died along Route 910 in Harmar on Wednesday, June 11, 2014.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Emergency personnel respond to a two-car accident in which a man died along Route 910 in Harmar on Wednesday, June 11, 2014.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Emergency personnel respond to a two-car accident in which a man died along Route 910 in Harmar on Wednesday, June 11, 2014.

A West Deer man died Wednesday afternoon when his car drifted into oncoming traffic on Route 910 in Harmar, according to police.

Ezra Briggs, 24, was pronounced dead at the scene at around 4 p.m. by Lower Valley EMS personnel. His official cause of death is pending an autopsy from the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office.

Harmar police Chief Jason Domaratz said Briggs was heading toward Indiana Township in a two-door car around 3:45 p.m. when he lost control on a bend near Locust Hill Road. His car began to spin downhill into the opposite lane and was struck on the passenger side by an oncoming SUV.

Upon impact, the Kia SUV overturned into an embankment on the side of the road, and came to a rest about 2 feet away from Briggs' silver car.

The driver of the Kia, Mark Dodd, 44, of Elizabeth, got out of his SUV on his own power. He was taken to UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh by Lower Valley EMS as a “precaution,” according to Domaratz.

The nature of his injuries was unknown, but they did not appear life-threatening, Domaratz said. A condition report from UPMC Presbyterian was unavailable late Wednesday.

Harmar police and the Allegheny Valley Volunteer Fire Company closed Route 910 from Locust Hill Road to Commerce Drive for about three hours while Allegheny County detectives investigated.

Domaratz said skid marks on the road indicate that Briggs may have tried to pass another car on the shoulder of the road before he lost control.

Speed was likely a factor, he said.

Both Dodd and Briggs were traveling alone.

Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or bashe@tribweb.com.

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