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Chief: Autopsy can't place cause of death

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Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, 12:36 a.m.

KITTANNING – An autopsy on a 69-year-old Kittanning man struck by a car in late October has proved to be inconclusive, said authorities.

John Shaffer was struck by a vehicle driven by former Kittanning councilwoman Elinor Weaver, 87, at 11:28 a.m. Oct. 25 at the corner of Vine and North McKean streets, said Ed Cassesse, police chief.

Cassesse said that blinding sunlight seemed to have played a part in the accident.

“She (Weaver) was at the stop sign and the sun was in front of her as she made the left turn onto Vine Street,” Cassesse said.

Weaver told Cassesse she didn't see Shaffer at the crosswalk.

He was knocked unconscious but revived at the scene and was transported to ACMH Hospital, then to a Pittsburgh Hospital.

Shaffer suffered 13 broken ribs, a broken collarbone and a broken leg, said Cassesse. He was released from hospital a week later and was sent to the Armstrong County Health Center for rehabilitation. He died at the center on Nov. 5.

Cassesse said Armstrong County Coroner Bob Bower told him that he could not determine whether the cause of death resulted from the accident or from a pre-existing medical condition.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

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