Share This Page

Investigation continues into crash involving Coraopolis police chief

| Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, 11:56 p.m.

Investigators are trying to determine whether the Coraopolis police chief was responding to a call with emergency lights flashing and the siren sounding when he ran a red light in an unmarked police car last week and collided with a vehicle in Moon.

Chief Alan DeRusso and the other motorist, identified as a 36-year-old woman who was on her way to work, remained hospitalized on Tuesday with injuries that investigators were told are serious but not life-threatening, Moon police Chief Leo P. McCarthy said.

Witnesses have given conflicting accounts of whether DeRusso had activated his emergency lights and siren before the crash occurred at 8:14 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of Route 51, known as University Boulevard, and Thorn Run Road, McCarthy said.

“That's one of on the points of contention, whether he was on his way to a call,” the chief said. “That's one of the pivotal parts in the case.”

Witnesses reported that DeRusso traveled through the steady red signal and struck the vehicle driven by the woman who had the green light, McCarthy said. After the automobiles collided, a third vehicle was struck, but no one was hurt.

The police vehicle and the one driven by the woman have been impounded. Investigators from the township police Special Investigations Unit downloaded data from the computer, known as a black box, in each vehicle, McCarthy said.

Investigators are laser mapping the crash scene and reconstructing the collision, he said.

Township investigators are being assisted by an Allegheny County police accident reconstruction specialist, McCarthy said.

“We have been in direct communication with the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office,” McCarthy said. “Once the investigation is complete, we shall present it to them for review.”

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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.