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Police: Man in custody after running from fatal Kiski Township hit-run crash

Chuck Biedka
| Friday, Feb. 13, 2015, 4:06 p.m.
Police take Jeremy J. Blystone, 34, of Leechburg into custody along Hildebrand Way and Warren Lane in Apollo after a search for a fatal hit-and-run crash. The crash involved two cars at the intersection of Route 56 and McKinstry Hill Road in Kiski Township, on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015.
Dan Speicher | For the Valley News Dispatch
Police take Jeremy J. Blystone, 34, of Leechburg into custody along Hildebrand Way and Warren Lane in Apollo after a search for a fatal hit-and-run crash. The crash involved two cars at the intersection of Route 56 and McKinstry Hill Road in Kiski Township, on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015.
State and local police respond to a fatal hit-and-run accident involving two cars at the intersection of Route 56 and McKinstry Hill Road in Kiski Township, on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. A suspect, Jeremy J. Blystone 34, was arrested shortly after police say he fled on foot through the neighborhood.
Dan Speicher | For the Valley News Dispatch
State and local police respond to a fatal hit-and-run accident involving two cars at the intersection of Route 56 and McKinstry Hill Road in Kiski Township, on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. A suspect, Jeremy J. Blystone 34, was arrested shortly after police say he fled on foot through the neighborhood.
Police arrest Jeremy J. Blystone, 34, of Leechburg in connection with a fatal hit-and-run crash on Route 56 in Kiski Township, on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. He was arrested after police say he ran into a neighborhood along Hildebrand Way and Warren Lane in Apollo.
Dan Speicher | For the Valley News Dispatch
Police arrest Jeremy J. Blystone, 34, of Leechburg in connection with a fatal hit-and-run crash on Route 56 in Kiski Township, on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. He was arrested after police say he ran into a neighborhood along Hildebrand Way and Warren Lane in Apollo.
A member of the Pennsylvania State Police Forensic Services Unit walks from the scene of a fatal hit-and-run accident, involving two vehicles at the intersection of Route 56 and McKinstry Hill Road  in Kiski Township, on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. One man died and two others were reported to be injured. Jeremy J. Blystone, 34, of Leechburg was arrested after police say he fled into a nearby neighborhood.
Dan Speicher | For the Valley News Dispatch
A member of the Pennsylvania State Police Forensic Services Unit walks from the scene of a fatal hit-and-run accident, involving two vehicles at the intersection of Route 56 and McKinstry Hill Road in Kiski Township, on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. One man died and two others were reported to be injured. Jeremy J. Blystone, 34, of Leechburg was arrested after police say he fled into a nearby neighborhood.

A Leechburg man who police say ran from a fatal crash in Kiski Township on Friday afternoon was captured in Apollo about two hours later.

Jeremy J. Blystone, 34, was arrested after police scoured the area following the 2 p.m. crash on Route 56 at McKinstry Hill Road.

Thomas Pater, 61, of the Apollo area died at Forbes Hospital in Monroeville, hospital spokesman Jesse Miller said.

Police said a man in Pater's car and a woman traveling with Blystone were injured.

Pater's passenger was seriously injured and flown to a Pittsburgh hospital. His name and condition weren't immediately released, nor was information about the woman.

Kiski Township police Chief Jerrod Thompson said Blystone was driving an SUV away from Apollo. Blystone was making a left turn into a modular house's parking lot when he crossed into the path of a small car that Pater was driving toward Apollo.

The wreck happened in front of 742 Route 56.

After the collision, police say Blystone jumped out of the newer Hyundai Santa Fe and ran down a wooded hillside, leaving footprints in the snow that police tracked.

He initially ran toward North Apollo and a wooded area near Sugar Hollow Road and North Second Street. Police said he asked someone for a ride on Sugar Hollow Road.

Area police, state police and Armstrong County detectives and sheriff's deputies fanned out, using helicopters and police dogs.

Apollo-Ridge School Board President Greg Primm said he arrived to his Apollo home Friday afternoon to find the neighborhood surrounded by police cars and helicopters hovering overhead.

He said a police dog and its handler searched his basement to ensure no one was hiding inside.

About two hours after the crash, Blystone was spotted in downtown Apollo near the corner of North Warren Avenue and Hildebrand Way.

“He was getting into a car driven by a man,” Thompson said.

Blystone threw up his hands when confronted by scores of police. After a minute or two, Thompson's voice could be heard on police radios, “We got him!”

Blystone refused medical treatment when he was handcuffed, but Kiski Township police took him to a hospital to be examined. They also got a warrant to have his a blood-alcohol content tested.

Police were interviewing Blystone on Friday night; it was not immediately known what charges would be filed. The man whose car Blystone was getting into was not charged.

Police said Blystone was wanted on warrants out of Armstrong and Westmoreland counties and was to be taken to the Armstrong County Jail.

The Chesterfield County (Va.) Police Department has been looking for Blystone since May 2013 because his probation was revoked, according to the department's online list of active warrants.

The list does not indicate for what crime Blystone was on probation. Virginia court records show he was found guilty in two larceny cases in 2012 in Chesterfield and Colonial Heights.

Three cases filed in 2013 against Blystone are pending in Petersburg, Va., for failing to appear for a court appearance and driving with a suspended license.

In Pennsylvania, he was declared a fugitive in 2009 after Vandergrift police cited him for criminal mischief. That case still is pending.

Court records show he was convicted of drunken driving, simple assault, theft, disorderly conduct and other charges from 2000 to 2006, with most of the crimes occurring in Vandergrift or Parks Township.

Route 56 closed for five hours

Dismissal for some Apollo-Ridge School District students was delayed by about 45 minutes because of the closure of Route 56 and the search, according to Primm.

Once students were released, scores of buses were directed along McKinstry Hill Road to detour around the crash site.

The highway remained closed until 6:50 p.m. as two state troopers started the grim task of taking measurements and reconstructing the accident.

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or cbiedka@tribweb.com. Staff writer Liz Hayes contributed to this report.

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