McKeesport police ID hit-and-run vehicle
By Stacy Lee
Published: Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, 3:36 a.m.
Authorities say they have information they hope will help identify the driver responsible for a fatal hit-and-run in McKeesport.
A Nixle report issued by McKeesport police on Wednesday at 6:42 p.m. indicated that the vehicle involved in the accident that killed 56-year-old Lorraine Wilkes of McKeesport had been located.
“We believe police may have the vehicle, and the matter is still under investigation by Allegheny County police,” McKeesport Capt. of Detectives Tim Hanna said later.
Earlier, investigators said they were looking for the driver of a Jeep Cherokee they believe struck Wilkes on Wednesday between 4 a.m. and 4:33 a.m. in the 600 block of Lysle Boulevard. Police said the driver did not stop.
Allegheny County 911 was notified at 4:33 a.m. that a woman was down on the sidewalk near the Sunoco gas station, according to an emergency dispatch shift supervisor.
McKeesport police were called to the scene shortly after medics arrived.
Wilkes was transported to UPMC Mercy, where she was pronounced dead at 7:11 a.m.
“Shortly after 4 a.m., I heard a thud when I was in the Sunoco A-plus looking at the newspaper,” store customer J.L. Martello said. “I walked outside on the sidewalk by the gas station and just saw headlights going down Lysle Boulevard. I went back in the gas station because I didn't see any damage or wrecks.”
Martello said approximately half an hour later he saw an ambulance pull into the gas station's parking lot.
“I walked over to see what was happening, and there was a woman lying on the sidewalk, face down, moaning and groaning,” he said.
“The victim was thrown onto the sidewalk near a flower/mulch bed,” county Homicide Lt. Andrew Schurman said. “This may have impeded passersbys' ability to see her.”
People at the scene said Wilkes was a client of Mon Yough Community Services.
“Due to state licensing regulations, I can't confirm or deny whether she was or was not,” MYCS risk manager James Andrews said. “We have spoken to police. The program is cooperating with police in their investigation.”
Schurman said detectives determined the make and model of the vehicle, and the model year — between 1997 and 2001 — from debris recovered at the scene.
McKeesport police said via Facebook and Nixle that the vehicle should have damage to the right passenger side, the fender flare should be missing and the headlight and parking light should be damaged, broken or missing.
Police are collecting surveillance video from nearby businesses.
Anyone with information should call McKeesport police at 412-675-5015 or Allegheny County's Homicide Unit at 412-473-1300.
Jennifer R. Vertullo contributed to this story. Stacy Lee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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