Beechview man waives hearing in fatal crash

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A Beechview man waived his preliminary hearing this morning on charges that while drunk he struck a pedestrian with his car, causing the man to die.

Michael Rafaloski, 25, faces charges of homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter and other crimes in connection with the Feb. 9 crash that killed Sean Conroy, 25, of Munhall.

Prosecutors today withdrew one count of driving under the influence but a second count remains.

Pittsburgh police wrote in a criminal complaint that they found Mr. Conroy lying on the road in the 2300 block of Pioneer Avenue after someone called 911 to report hearing a crash. Mr. Conroy was taken to UPMC Mercy, where he died about a half hour later.

A few blocks away, police wrote, they found a blue Ford Explorer with front end damage parked in the driveway at Mr. Rafaloski's house. Police said Mr. Rafaloski showed a blood alcohol level of .129 on a breath test.

He told detectives, according to a criminal complaint, that he drank at a pub with some friends that night and remembered hitting something on Pioneer Avenue, but thought it might have been a deer.

"He stated he did not see anything because he must have been doing something that prevented him from having his sight forward on the roadway," police wrote. "He might have been changing the radio, however, he was not sure why he was not paying attention."

Mr. Rafaloski's attorney, Fred Rabner, declined to comment as he left the courthouse this morning.

Liz Navratil:, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil.

Liz Navratil:, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil.

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