Whitehall hit-and-run victim is still recovering
Anthony Posa was preparing to return to the classroom as a math teacher at Carrick High School this school year.
He spent the day on Aug. 19 buying supplies, diapers and other items for his wife and newborn baby.
Traveling southbound on state Route 51 on his way to the gym, the Dodge Avenger Posa was driving was struck on the side and spun out of control, crashing into a metal pole, leaving him trapped inside. The other vehicle never stopped.
Posa, 28, was rushed to the hospital in critical condition with severe head trauma, broken ribs and a broken leg. He remained at UPMC Mercy hospital on Tuesday, in cognitive and physical therapy with an unknown prognosis, said his sister-in-law Kristen Vatter, 32. The family hopes to learn more in the next several days, she said.
August was supposed to be a month of celebrations, birthdays and good times for Anthony and Lauren Posa, of Whitehall, who celebrated their second anniversary on Aug. 13, four days after their baby, Gianna, was born.
“It was just supposed to be an unbelievably happy month for them,” said Vatter, speaking on behalf of the family. “Everything just got curtailed. ... Now, they're missing the first couple of weeks of their new family.”
Whitehall police arrived at the Posas' home to tell Lauren about the accident, Vatter said.
Anthony doesn't remember details from the accident, she said. He underwent one surgery to repair a damaged femur and now is in rehab.
“He's doing a lot better, but he's still battling the head injury,” Vatter said.
Lauren, 26, divides her time between the hospital for Anthony and at home with the baby, Vatter said. Lauren, a registered nurse at Allegheny General Hospital, remains on maternity leave.
Within a day of the accident, the young mother realized that although Anthony has major medical and auto insurance, he has no short-term or long-term disability coverage and will not receive lost wages, Vatter said.
“He supplied a good deal of their income and he's going to be out of work for the foreseeable future,” she said. “It will be months as best-case scenario.”
Lauren began talking about returning to work to help pay bills, something her sister said she should not be worrying about right now.
“She's got more on her plate than anyone should have,” Vatter said.
Family members began talking about holding fundraisers to support the Posas. Community members, at the same time, began coming up with ways to help.
A Facebook page — Tonstrong - Supporting Anthony Posa — garnered more than 1,000 likes within one day.
Friends offered to cut the grass and watch Gianna. Local businesses donated items to help raise funds.
“All of these people are reaching out and providing him well wishes,” Vatter said.
James Carbonara, 28, head coach of the Varsity 3 Baldwin Inline High School hockey team who graduated with Anthony from Baldwin High School in 2003, said people across the area all want to help the Posa family.
“He's just a great guy,” Carbonara said. “I just feel bad.”
Carbonara had thought of planning a roller hockey event to show support for Anthony, who plays on several community teams. Members of the Posa family and other area coaches also proposed the same idea. So, they're all working together to hold an event at the Bridgeville Rollerplex, where Anthony plays, to raise money for the family.
Other fundraisers include a spaghetti dinner, bar event and bank account where donations can be made to help the family.
Whitehall police continue to pursue leads in the hit-and-run accident, Chief Donald Dolfi said Tuesday.
Police continue to search for a “newer, red Ford Explorer” that was traveling southbound on Route 51 at 9:51 a.m. on Aug. 19 that they say caused the accident when the driver attempted to switch lanes and struck Posa's vehicle.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.