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SUV strikes, kills Hempfield man who may have fallen off snowbank

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By Amy Crawford
Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010

A retired nuclear physicist was struck and killed Friday near his home on Arona Road in Hempfield.

Amilcare Biancheria, 80, of 1723 Arona Road was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:10 a.m. by Westmoreland County Deputy Coroner Gerald W. Fritz.

Biancheria's body was discovered near his home by neighbors, who telephoned Westmoreland County Emergency Management and attempted to resuscitate him.

Biancheria was struck by an SUV operated by John Flack, 56, of Latrobe, state police at Greensburg said. They are continuing to investigate.

The road was closed for about three hours for the investigation.

Neighbor Bob Hand, who performed CPR on Biancheria, said that Biancheria may have fallen off a snowbank and into the path of Flack's vehicle. Hand said Biancheria was pushed about 50 feet.

"Typically, cars go pretty fast" on the two-lane highway, Hand said.

Biancheria's wife, Shirley, said that he had just dropped her off at the bus that would take her to work in Pittsburgh.

"I can't believe this happened right in our driveway," she said.

Shirley Biancheria said that her husband, who was known as "Mick," had worked for Westinghouse and later the Department of Energy, retiring in 1993. Since then, she said, he had worked as a motivational speaker.

Together, the Biancherias performed magic shows for autistic children and at personal care homes.

"I was his assistant," she said. "We had a great time doing those shows."

Biancheria had a doctoral degree from Clark University in Massachusetts and a patent for nuclear fuel elements. He was a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and the American Chemical Society. He was a judge of elections in Hempfield and a Democratic committeeman for Westmoreland County.

"He had a lot of credentials," his wife said, "but he was so genuine and so true. It's just amazing he's not coming back."

Beatty-Rich Funeral Home Inc. in Madison is in charge of arrangements.

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