Woman struck, killed by 3 vehicles in Strip District

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Pittsburgh police were still piecing together the details Tuesday night after a woman was struck and killed by three vehicles in the Strip District that morning.

The Allegheny County medical examiner's office identified the woman as 53-year-old Judith Kollar of West Mifflin. She was pronounced dead at Allegheny General Hospital at 7:33 a.m.

Two of the drivers stopped at the scene, but the box truck that struck the woman just before 7:10 a.m. kept moving, said Pittsburgh police Sgt. Daniel Connolly of the bureau's accident investigations unit.

Sgt. Connolly said the truck driver may not have realized he struck someone. He noted traffic was heavy about that time.

An image of the truck captured by a surveillance camera matches that of Canadian flower company, Flora Pack.

That company's controller, Robert Whitenect, said late Tuesday afternoon that police told him the box truck driver was stopped by police near the junction of Interstates 90 and 79 near Erie and was being brought back to Pittsburgh.

Mr. Whitenect confirmed a driver had been making overnight deliveries in Ohio and Pittsburgh. The Jordan Station, Ontario, business carts flowers twice weekly to the Pittsburgh area, he said.

PG graphic: Strip District
(Click image for larger version)

Sgt. Connolly said Ms. Kollar was walking from the parking lot across Smallman Street in the crosswalk at 14th Street when a van making a left onto 14th Street hit her just before 7:10 a.m.

The impact tossed the woman into the opposite lane, where the large box truck hit her. A third vehicle, an SUV, hit her again, pinning her underneath, Sgt. Connolly said.

Mary Lou Maxwell, who lives across the street from Ms. Kollar in West Mifflin, said she was a pleasant, friendly neighbor and is survived by her husband, three adult children, a grandson and many other family members who visited often.

"She and her husband did a lot of things together," Ms. Maxwell said. "They were very family oriented."

Ms. Kollar was a systems invoicing supervisor at Downtown-based Adagio Health Information System.

"Judith Kollar was a wonderful co-worker and a great friend to many at Adagio Health," according to a statement the company released. "She was a dedicated and respected professional during her 26-year tenure here. Judy's loss leaves a huge void in our organization, but more importantly to her family and friends. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with her family during this difficult time."

Pittsburgh police Assistant Chief Regina McDonald said since June 18, three uniformed police officers have patrolled three Strip District locations: Smallman and 15th streets, Penn Avenue and 15th Street and Penn Avenue and 14th Street between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. and again between 4 and 7 p.m.

The officers are paid for by Downtown-based Education Management Corp. Spokeswoman Jacqueline Muller said between seven and nine of the company's online higher education employees in the Strip have been hit by cars in that area.

"We put off-duty officers at the crosswalks to ensure the safety of our employees given the history of accidents in that vicinity," she said.

mobilehome - neigh_city

Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1944. First Published December 12, 2012 5:00 AM


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