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Perryopolis couple injured in hit-run crash

| Friday, Oct. 22, 2010

A Perryopolis couple was injured Wednesday when their truck went over a guide rail and flipped over on I-70 in Somerset Township.

State police in Washington are now looking for the hit-and-run driver who caused the crash.

Police said Stephen Hela, 65, was traveling west on I-70 between the Kammerer and Dunningsville exits when his Ford Ranger was struck in the front and forced onto the berm of the road and over a guide rail. The truck flipped onto its roof in a grassy area off of the highway.

The hit-and-run vehicle then struck a Kia Sedan operated by Chad A. Slappo, 29, of Donora. His car spun out of control and struck the guide rail several times before coming to rest.

Both drivers said the hit-and run vehicle was "weaving" in and out of traffic when the collisions occurred.

State police in are looking for a silver Dodge Intrepid, which should have red paint on the right passenger side and dark gray paint on the left driver's side from the collisions.

Hela sustained moderate injuries and was taken to a local hospital by the Bentworth Ambulance Service.

His wife, Georgiana Hela, 67, also sustained moderate injuries but had to be extricated from the truck by firefighters. She was flown from the scene by medical helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital.

Their conditions weren't available.

Slappo was not injured.

Fallowfield and Ellsworth firefighters assisted.

Anyone with information is asked to call state police at (724) 223-5200.

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