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Retired county cop charged in fatal hit-run

| Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, 12:57 a.m.

The former Allegheny County police officer charged on Friday in connection with a deadly hit-and-run accident earlier in the week on Lysle Boulevard in McKeesport told investigators he had consumed three 16-ounce cans of beer in the hours leading up to the incident.

Timothy Tatters, 64, of White Oak is charged with careless driving and accidents involving death or personal injury in connection with the death of Lorraine Wilkes, 56, of McKeesport, who police say was struck by Tatters' Jeep Cherokee shortly after 4:30 a.m. on Wednesday along the boulevard near the Sunoco station.

According to the criminal complaint filed on Friday, Tatters told police he'd been at the Country Corral Bar from 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday until 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Tatters said he was at the bar because his ex-daughter-in-law was training there as a bartender. Tatters said he gave the former in-law a ride home to Glassport, where he then spent time visiting with her and his grandson before starting for home.

Tatters said he hit something that he thought was a dog near the Sunoco station but never stopped. When he got home he inspected his vehicle and saw damage that made him believe he struck a deer. He said it wasn't until he saw a news report later that someone had been hit along the roadway that he realized he must have hit a person.

Police used debris collected at the scene including a fender flare to determine the year and make of the vehicle that hit Wilkes. After information about the vehicle was released to the public, McKeesport police received a tip from a neighbor that Tatters had arrived home early in the morning and had a vehicle like the one in question.

The damaged Jeep was in front of Tatters' home when police investigated later that day.

Tatters, who retired from the county police department in 1993, is being held in Allegheny County Jail on $100,000 bail. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled in McKeesport on Jan. 28 at 1 p.m.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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