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Children's doctor dies in Interstate 70 crash

| Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011

Dr. Lisa Vecchione , the director of orthodontic services at Children's Cleft-Craniofacial Center, was killed in a crash during the weekend in Ohio, UPMC spokesman Paul C. Wood said Monday.

Vecchione, 44, was driving east in a construction area on Interstate 70 when her Mini Cooper was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer, starting a chain-reaction crash that involved four vehicles, Ohio Highway Patrol Lt. Anne Ralston said.

Vecchione was pronounced dead at the scene of the wreck near St. Clairsville, Ralston said.

Two other people, including the truck driver, George Knott, 53, of Cullman, Ala., were treated and released from hospital, the lieutenant said. The investigation is continuing, and charges are pending, she said.

Wood said Vecchione, who also was an assistant clinical professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, often worked with special needs children.

UPMC's website states that Vecchione came to Children's in 2004 after a fellowship in cleft-craniofacial orthodontics at the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at New York University. She received a master of dental science degree in 2003 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine's Department of Orthodontics and was graduated summa cum laude with a doctor of medical dentistry degree from Pitt's School of Dental Medicine in 2000.

"Dr. Vecchione death is tragic. She was very dedicated in meeting the needs of her patients and their families. It's a very sad day for all of us at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC," Christopher Gessner, president of Children's Hospital.

The UPMC website states that Vecchione maintained a freelance career as a medical illustrator, creating computer graphics and illustrations of surgical procedures.

She also was principal or co-principal investigator in several research studies, including the roles of the muscle fiber characteristics in facial morphology.

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