Allegheny River Boulevard reopens after crash

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Police have reopened Allegheny River Boulevard between Nadine road and Washington Boulevard after a crash caused its closure earlier.

A 38-year-old man was hospitalized after he was thrown from a vehicle in an early morning crash on Allegheny River Boulevard in Penn Hills.

The vehicle driven by Richard Dopico, of Penn Hills, hit a telephone pole, slid on a guide rail, then struck a tree, Penn Hills police Chief Howard Burton said at a news conference this morning. Mr. Dopico was ejected from the vehicle, and the engine also came out.

High speed played a factor in the single-car crash that authorities believe will keep the main thoroughfare closed until noon, Chief Burton said. The crash was reported at 2:13 a.m. The crash scene, he said, spanned about 500 feet.

Chief Burton did not know the man's condition this morning. No one else was in the vehicle.

Before the crash, Mr. Dopico was the target of a brief pursuit that started in Pittsburgh's Homewood neighborhood.

Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard said that the driver was driving at night without headlights, and oficers pulled the vehicle over in the 6500 - 6600 block of Hamilton Avenue. She said the driver briefly pulled over and then fled.

She said the lieutenant monitoring the chase and made the decision to call off the chase quickly after it started.

Officers were not following Mr. Dopico at the time of the crash, Chief Burton said.

"We strongly believe the [Pittsburgh police] pursuit had nothing to do with the crash," Chief Burton said.

Police also smelled alcohol at the scene, Chief Burton said.

They do not believe Mr. Dopico was wearing a seat belt. He remains at UPMC Presbyterian.

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Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com First Published February 15, 2013 6:00 AM


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