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Driver ordered held for trial in death of teenage track star

| Thursday, Jan. 6, 2005

A Bentleyville man charged with fatally injuring a Bentworth High School student athlete was ordered held for trial Wednesday on all charges.

Armand James Pistilli Jr., 32, of 402 A. Washington St., faces charges of homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment, reckless and careless driving, driving with a suspended license and operation of a vehicle without an official inspection sticker.

Police said Pistilli was driving the vehicle that struck Alexzandra Loos, 15, of 101 Ridge Road, Eighty Four, shortly after noon Aug. 11 as she and Sarah Fields, 16, of 621 Lincoln Ave., Bentleyville, were walking along state Route 2010 in Somerset Township. Loos was flown to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, where she died the following evening.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, state police believe tire marks at the scene of the accident indicate the vehicle was traveling between 72 and 77 miles per hour at the time of the accident. The posted speed limit in that area is 40 miles per hour.

According to the affidavit, Pistilli told police he was traveling 45 to 50 miles per hour at the time of the accident, but a passenger in the car, Chad Paul Coyle, told police, "I wasn't looking at the speedometer, but we were moving pretty good."

Pistilli remains free after posting $25,000 cash bond on the condition he not get behind the wheel of any vehicle.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Lucas said a formal arraignment should be held in the next two to three months and the case likely will go to trial by the fall.

About 30 family members, some seen crying, were in the courtroom in Central Court in Washington, Pa., where a preliminary hearing had been scheduled.

A track star as a freshman last year, Loos finished third in the 1,600-meter run and fifth in the 800-meter run in the PIAA Class AA track and field championship at Shippensburg University.

She also won the WPIAL 1,600-meter run with a record time of 5:13.80

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