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Coroner suspects Manor man's heart condition was factor in crash, fire

Renatta Signorini
| Monday, July 18, 2011

A medical condition apparently led to a fatal vehicle crash and fire Saturday morning in Manor.

Coroner Bob Bower said Timothy A. Reich, 63, of Hawk Hollow Road, Manor, "had no injuries, which makes me believe that his cardiac history" played a part in the crash.

In a news release, Bower said Reich's car was found fully engulfed in flames along Hawk Hollow Road at 9:45 a.m. Saturday.

Before the accident, Reich drove along the berm for about 950 feet before traveling on an embankment 500 feet and coming to a stop. Bower speculated that the gas line may have ruptured and burst into flames, but referred questions of how the vehicle caught fire to township police.

Chief Mike Karabin said his department is continuing to investigate, and that the cause of the fire remained undetermined.

Bower said Reich had a cardiac bypass and heart valve replacement two months ago. An autopsy was conducted Saturday.

"I think his medical condition probably initiated the accident," he said.

However, Bower decided to hold off on making his ruling of a cause of death until reviewing Reich's medical records and reports from the autopsy.

Assisting at the scene were Manor, Kittanning Township and Ford Cliff fire departments and Kittanning Hose Co. 6 ambulance.

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