Monroeville officer put on leave as police investigate fatal accident
A Monroeville man who was hit and killed by a police cruiser left behind two children with special needs, a family friend said on Friday.
Michael Barnes, 49, of Hazelwood Drive died of injuries of the head, neck, trunk and extremities, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said. He was hit while walking across Monroeville Boulevard on Thursday night. The speed limit there is 35 mph.
The Monroeville police officer involved in the incident submitted blood for testing and was placed on administrative leave per police policy, Monroeville police Chief Steven Pascarella said. He did not identify the officer.
Barnes grew up in New Orleans and moved to the Pittsburgh area about 15 years ago, family friend Angela Eichenmiller said. She described Barnes as a “very gentle, very kind, warm, loving, friendly guy” and a good father.
Barnes struggled with personal problems but worked to support his family for the past nine months, Eichenmiller said.
“We all make mistakes,” said Eichenmiller of Monroeville. “He was trying.”
Barnes is survived by his two children, Logan, 8, and Lauren, 12. Both children were diagnosed with Down syndrome and autism and attend school in the Gateway district, Eichenmiller said.
Their mother, Tamara Lord, is their primary caretaker, Eichenmiller said.
“(Tamara) is very distraught,” Eichenmiller said. “She's had a rough road with these kids ... To have whatever little support he could give meant the world to her, and now that's completely gone.”
Barnes was alone crossing in the 3900 block of Monroeville Boulevard at 7:24 p.m. Thursday when the patrol vehicle hit him, Allegheny County police said. He was pronounced dead at 7:49 p.m. in Forbes Regional Hospital, according to the county medical examiner's office.
The officer was not responding to an emergency call at the time. There are no streetlights or crosswalks within 50 feet of where Barnes was hit.
Eichenmiller said the family did not know where Barnes was going when he crossed the street.
It was typical for Barnes to wear headphones while crossing Monroeville Boulevard as he walked to his home in the 3900 block of Hazelwood Drive, where he was staying temporarily, roommate Brian Cassidy said.
There are a Sheetz, McDonald's and other businesses near his home.
The manner of death is pending investigation by Allegheny County police.
Funeral arrangements on Friday were incomplete.
Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or email@example.com. Staff writer Margaret Harding contributed to this report.
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.
- Big plays cost Steelers defense in 43-19 preseason loss at Bills
- Happ’s strong start, Ramirez’s homer pace Pirates past Rockies
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin mum on Bryant suspension
- Rossi: Beleaguered Steelers need MVP from Big Ben
- Pirates notebook: Hurdle’s faith in Polanco pays off
- Pitt’s cancer institute marks 30 years with eye toward future
- U.S. closes in on offshore tax evasion
- Pitt star running back Conner remains grounded despite success
- Boys soccer preview: Fresh of winning Section 1-AAA title, Penn-Trafford boys hope to maintain momentum with new coach
- Architecture: Pittsburgh history in 10 houses
- Starting 9: Pirates place renewed emphasis on nabbing base-stealers