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Penn Twp. ambulance driver faces charges in crash

| Thursday, May 3, 2012, 5:19 p.m.

A Penn Township Rescue 6 ambulance driver faces a charge of homicide by vehicle in an Oct. 30 accident in Hempfield that killed a Westmoreland County Prison guard.

Jason Fait, 30, of 9850 Barnes Lake Road, North Huntingdon, was arraigned this week and will have a preliminary hearing at 1:45 p.m. Sept. 27 before Jeannette District Judge Joseph DeMarchis. Bond was set at $25,000 unsecured. Fait also was charged with reckless driving, careless driving and other traffic offenses.

State police at Greensburg said Fait was driving an ambulance west on Route 130 at 5:49 a.m. Oct. 30 when he ran a red light at North Greengate Road and hit a Ford Bronco driven by Frank Scalise Jr., 46, of Murrysville, that was traveling south.

Scalise, who began working at the prison in 1992, was reportedly on his way there at the time. According to the criminal complaint, Scalise was taken by medical helicopter to UPMC Pittsburgh. He died Nov. 3 of blunt-force trauma of the head, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office.

Fait was not injured, but the ambulance was heavily damaged. Police indicated the ambulance was returning to its station after transporting a patient and did not have lights or sirens activated.

Asked about Fait's employment status Friday, a representative of the ambulance association had no comment.

In December, Westmoreland County Judge Gary Caruso ordered the county's public safety department to preserve its recordings of radio dispatches from 4:49 to 6:49 a.m. on the day of the accident.

The request to preserve the recording was made by Pittsburgh attorney Suzanne B. Merrick, who is representing the Penn Township Ambulance Association.

She said the county department of public safety routinely recycles its tape recordings every 45 days.

Merrick could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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