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Cheswick man arrested in March 22 pedestrian fatal

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Cheswick man is accused of being the driver in a hit-and-run incident in Lower Burrell last week that killed an East Vandergrift man who was walking along the road.

Anthony M. Marasco, 29, of 1815 Pittsburgh St., Cheswick, is accused of striking 46-year-old Robert Zidek on March 22.

Zidek's body was found about 9:15 p.m. along Wildlife Lodge Road near Coulson Road. He died the next morning in Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh.

Marasco was charged on Friday for allegedly driving the plumbing company van that police say struck Zidek, for not protecting Zidek from other drivers and for not stopping to help the stricken pedestrian.

Wildlife Lodge Road intersects with Leechburg Road. The accident was within walking distance of Hillcrest Shopping Center, which is were loved ones say Zidek was headed in order to escort his girlfriend's daughter home after work.

According to a police report, Lower Burrell police Lt. Robert Galvanek and Westmoreland County Detective John Clark found parts of a grille at the scene believed to have come from the Ford van.

The report said two witnesses saw the Mr. Rooter van on Scanga Drive shortly before Zidek was hit. Scanga Drive is on the opposite end of Wildlife Lodge from Coulson Road.

Police say the van later was seen on video, which includes its identification number, 80. The footage was obtained from surveillance cameras from businesses along Wildlife Lodge and Leechburg roads.

Police visited auto repair shops looking for a Ford van painted with the Mr. Rooter logo. They learned that van No. 80 was assigned exclusively to Marasco.

Late March 24, detectives saw the van parked behind Marasco's brother's plumbing business.

The grille and hood "appeared to be freshly damaged and consistent with striking a person," police allege.

Detectives visited Marasco's brother the following day and confiscated two sets of keys for the van.

Yesterday, Allegheny Township District Judge Cheryl Peck Yakopec ordered Marasco sent to the county jail in lieu of $75,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing.

Zidek was a Harrison native. Among his survivors are two daughters, his parents, brothers and sisters.

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