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Driver of Uniontown charged in fatal crash

A 20-year-old Uniontown man has been charged with homicide by vehicle for a May 2 crash in Menallen that killed a junior at Albert Gallatin Area High School.

Robert M. Kelley was arraigned Tuesday on charges of homicide by vehicle, failing to yield at a stop sign, careless driving and driving a vehicle at an unsafe speed in connection with the 11:25 p.m. crash that killed Jonathan A. Kondrla of German Township. Kondrla was a junior fireman with the Footedale Volunteer Fire Department, where Kelley served as lieutenant.

State police at Uniontown said Kondria was a passenger who died when the compact car Kelley was driving became airborne and slammed into a utility pole along Old Route 51.

Police said Kelley was traveling west at a high rate of speed on Upper Middletown Road, ran a stop sign at the intersection, and the car went airborne at a section where the grades of the roadways differ.

The car landed on its wheels on Upper Middletown Road but it slid out of control, with the passenger's side smashing into a utility pole and shearing it off, police said.

Rescuers used hydraulic tools to cut the car so Kelley could be removed, police said. He was treated at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va.

The Fayette County Coroner's Office said Kondrla, the son of son of Floyd and Katherine Kondrla, died of head and neck injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:50 a.m.

Kelley was arraigned before District Judge Joseph George Jr. and released on recognizance bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 30.

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