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Allegheny County bus driver testifies she saw woman run over boyfriend with minivan

| Monday, May 5, 2014, 11:09 p.m.

An East Pittsburgh woman told police she was trying to block her boyfriend from boarding a Port Authority of Allegheny County bus — using her minivan — because he assaulted her.

Damona Anderson, 40, is accused of killing Dwan Jones, 42, of Mt. Oliver by running him over with her van shortly before midnight on Feb. 7, 2013. Jones died on April 2, 2013, at the Squirrel Hill Center for Rehabilitation and Healing.

Anderson is charged with homicide, robbery and aggravated assault. Her trial before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Donald E. Machen began on Monday. It will resume on May 14.

“Once he was bumped and he fell, it was almost like the van sucked him under with his legs,” said Port Authority bus driver Karima Howard, 44, who watched the incident from bus 5721.

Jones tried to pull himself up, Howard said, but it was too late. The van drove up his chest, she said.

“I didn't mean to run him over. I didn't want to run him over. He was harassing me,” Anderson told Pittsburgh police Officer Christopher Kertis, who transported her to police headquarters in the North Side.

During an interview there, Anderson told investigators that she and Jones, the father of three of her seven children, argued about money, and Jones grabbed her by the neck and hit her in the chest. Anderson called 911 to report the incident and followed Jones in her minivan so he wouldn't evade police.

A few blocks down the street, Jones stepped in front of Anderson's van to catch a passing bus, and Anderson tried to use the van to keep him from doing so.

“She said she was moving slow, but enough to get his attention,” homicide Detective Vonzale Boose said.

Anderson told police she got out of the van, grabbed a wad of money from Jones and drove off. She said she circled the block, parked next to Jones and took his wallet. She gave Jones her scarf to help stop the bleeding.

In a 911 call played for the judge, Anderson is frantic a few minutes after the incident.

“My baby. My baby,” she says. “I acci­dentally hit my baby.”

Adam Brandolph is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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