Rostraver gun shop owner in critical condition after hit-and-run
A well-known Rostraver gun shop owner suffered critical injuries when a vehicle struck him Tuesday night while he was in his wheelchair near his business.
Rostraver police are looking for the driver of the unknown vehicle that struck Byron White, 74, in his driveway along Route 136 just before 6 p.m.
The accident occurred near White's business, The Gun Rack, which he opened in 1985 after losing his steel mill job.
Harry Schmidt, a longtime friend and gunsmith for White, opened the shop as usual Wednesday as White was being treated at UPMC Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh.
White is paralyzed on his left side because of a series of strokes more than a decade ago and he uses a wheelchair to get around. He was leaving the shop to head to his nearby home when he was struck, Schmidt said.
“Somebody went off the road, through two mailboxes and hit him in his driveway,” Schmidt said.
White suffered internal bleeding, a crushed pelvis and a number of broken ribs, Schmidt said. A UPMC Mercy spokeswoman said White was in critical condition Wednesday afternoon.
White's wife, Barbara, found him after the accident.
“She had just locked the back door (to the shop) when she heard something, and she didn't know what it was. It was like a crunch,” Schmidt said. “She walked up to the house and he wasn't there. She started walking back and he started yelling from the neighbor's yard that he was hit.”
White is known for his vast knowledge of firearms and for his collection of World War II German military knives and Nazi-era items, according to a profile of him published in the Valley Independent newspaper two years ago.
Schmidt said despite his physical difficulties, White went to work at the shop every day.
“He'd give you the shirt off his back. He really would,” Schmidt said. “He's just one of the nicest people I know.”
He said he can't fathom how the driver could leave the scene.
“That's just ignorant,” Schmidt said. “I don't know how someone could hit a man in a wheelchair and go.”
Anyone with information about the accident is asked to call Rostraver police at 724-929-8811.
Jennifer Reeger is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6155 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.