Driver accused in fatal Penn Hills crash arrested |

Driver accused in fatal Penn Hills crash arrested

Brian C. Rittmeyer
Michael DiVittorio | Tribune-Review
Allegheny County Police have charged Theamon Jemal Hicks, 48, of Pittsburgh with homicide by vehicle in this fatal crash on Frankstown Road in Penn Hills on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. Steven Prazenica, 33, of the Allison Park area died in the head-on crash.
Allegheny County Jail
Theamon J. Hicks

Allegheny County police said Wednesday that officers arrested a Pittsburgh man accused of being drunk when he crashed his pickup into an SUV and killed its driver this month in Penn Hills.

Theamon Jemal Hicks, 48, was charged Tuesday with homicide by vehicle, according to court records.

He is currently being held in the Allegheny County Jail.

Steven Prazenica, 33, of the Allison Park area died in the head-on crash around 4:30 p.m. that day.

According to police, Hicks was driving a pickup truck Feb. 7 in the 12000 block of Frankstown Road toward Saltsburg Road when he allegedly crossed into the opposing lane of traffic and hit the SUV Prazenica was driving head-on near an auto parts store.

Police wrote in the criminal complaint that gouge marks and debris in the road indicated the vehicles collided about 20 feet from where they’d come to rest. They noted no evidence of braking or skidding, and Prazenica appeared to have been thrown partially into the back passenger seat by the impact.

The criminal complaint noted that the posted speed limit in that area is 35 mph.

Prazenica was later pronounced dead at UPMC Presbyterian.

Hicks was taken to Forbes Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

An officer in the ambulance with Hicks reported smelling alcohol on his breath. According to the complaint, Hicks “hesitantly nodded yes” when he was asked if he’d been drinking.

He told detectives that he’d been at the World Class Tavern on Long Run Road from about 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., where he’d been drinking tequila, according to the criminal complaint.

Investigators said blood tests later showed that Hicks had a blood alcohol level of 0.381 percent — nearly five times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

In addition to the homicide charge, Hicks faces involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence charges.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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