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South Union motorist charged in crash that injured 1

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Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, 10:51 p.m.

The driver of a Cadillac Escalade that struck a Belle Vernon man who was working on a broken water line in Uniontown on Feb. 5 is charged with drunken driving.

Heather Jean Smith, 37, of South Union Township refused to submit to a blood draw, according to Patrolman Jason Fidazzo, who this month filed charges of driving under the influence, careless driving and reckless driving.

Justin Nash, 39, of Belle Vernon was struck by the vehicle just before 11:30 p.m. as he and another Pennsylvania American Water Co. worker were repairing a line at East Fayette and Grant streets. Police said both men were wearing reflective vests.

Nicholas Hlasnick, 26, of West Mifflin told police he attempted to push Nash out of the way of the oncoming vehicle, “but he wasn't fast enough,” Fidazzo wrote in the complaint.

The Cadillac struck the men's work vehicle, which was parked with its four-way flashers on about 15 feet from where they were working, police said.

Smith, who remained at the scene, needed assistance standing, had slurred speech and smelled of alcohol, according to the complaint. Smith told police that “the guy walked right out in front of her,” Fidazzo wrote.

Nash was treated in UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh and released. His injuries were not detailed by police.

Smith could not be reached for comment.

A summons has been mailed to her. A preliminary hearing before District Judge Michael Metros is scheduled for April 1.

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