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Motorist in Delmont Walmart pedestrian fatality gets bond reduced

Renatta Signorini
| Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, 12:45 p.m.

A judge lowered the bail to $25,000 Tuesday for a Mississippi woman who is accused of hitting and killing a female pedestrian last month in front of the Walmart in Delmont.

Wendy Lee Shumaker, 49, of Philadelphia, Miss., told District Judge Charles R. Conway that she had been in the Washington Township area for about a week before police said the truck she was driving struck and killed Gail Rohrbacher, 82, of Delmont on July 27 in the store’s parking lot.

“My mom had surgery, and I came to help take care of her so my dad could go back to work,” Shumaker said.

She is charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence and related offenses. Police said in court papers that a witness saw Shumaker’s pickup drive over Rohrbacher twice at 1:50 p.m.

Rohrbacher died in Forbes Hospital in Monroeville.

Police said Shumaker had been drinking, and police found morphine and other drugs in her purse, according to court papers. She acknowledged that she takes prescription medication for anxiety and a back problem, police said.

She initially was jailed on $150,000 bail, but Conway reduced it after Shumaker said she couldn’t afford that amount and an attorney. Shumaker learned at the time of her preliminary hearing Tuesday that she didn’t qualify for a public defender.

She told the judge she does construction work on gas lines.

“I’m a very honest person,” she said. “I’ve never been in trouble, never even had handcuffs on my hand.”

Assistant District Attorney Mike Pacek opposed the bail reduction and said that Shumaker faces a mandatory three-year prison term, if she’s convicted.

Conway rescheduled the preliminary hearing to Aug. 22 to allow Shumaker more time to get an attorney.

Rohrbacher spent four decades as an elementary teacher at Gateway School District in Monroeville and was extensively involved in the Delmont Public Library, serving as an original board member.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, rsignorini@tribweb.com or via Twitter @byrenatta.

Gail Rohrbacher, 82, of Delmont.
Gail Rohrbacher, 82, of Delmont.
Wendy Shumaker (left) is led away from district court after a hearing on Aug. 7, 2018. She is accused of hitting and killing a pedestrian in the parking lot of the Walmart in Delmont on July 27, 2018.
Wendy Shumaker (left) is led away from district court after a hearing on Aug. 7, 2018. She is accused of hitting and killing a pedestrian in the parking lot of the Walmart in Delmont on July 27, 2018.
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