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Uniontown towing firm to pay for missing toy

| Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010

Shortly before a Fayette County man died after falling out of a van last month, he had purchased a special birthday gift for his son's second birthday on Nov. 12.

But somehow the Rocky the Robot Truck that Steve Conway bought for his son, Anikan, disappeared from the van after it was towed to Joby's Gulf in Uniontown on Nov. 8, hours after the accident in Menallen Township.

Bob Conway, Steve's father, said Tuesday that state police photographs show the toy, worth about $70, inside the van. But when he went to the towing company to get the toy, it was missing.

Steve Conway, 31, of Searights, died on Nov. 18. He had five children, ages 10 months to 10 years old, his father said.

Yesterday, Conway said towing company owner Joby Cantalamessa agreed to reimburse him for the cost of the toy.

"I called (Conway) Monday and told him two things. I said, 'Please accept my condolences for the loss of your son. The second is, I would gladly replace the missing toy for your grandson," Cantalamessa said.

The van was first put inside his business for state police processing, then moved to an outside storage facility that was gated and locked, he said.

"As I told Mr. Conway, I have no knowledge of what was in the van," Cantalamessa said.

Conway said it is important for his grandson to receive what turned out to be his father's final gift.

"He won't forget about him. We won't let that happen. He will know his dad. It might be through pictures, but he will know he had a good daddy," Conway said.

According to police, Conway was hanging out of the van's front window as it traveled along Miller Farm Road. He was ejected when the driver rounded a curve.

Conway landed 10 feet off the road. The driver parked the van about 20 yards from the accident scene and fled on foot, police said.

Conway was flown to Ruby Memorial Medical Center in Morgantown, W.Va., where he remained in critical condition for several days.

Yesterday, Trooper Christopher Hoover said the driver was located soon after the incident.

The scope of the investigation changed after Conway's death, he said, and charges are pending.

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