Unlicensed driver charged in Monroeville fatality

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The unlicensed driver accused of fatally striking a motorcyclist and fleeing the scene this weekend asked his mother and wife to take the blame, police said.

Fremont Mathias Jr., 32, of Monroeville was arraigned Monday morning on charges of homicide by vehicle, causing an accident involving injury or death, driving without a license and other crimes.

Allegheny County police wrote in a criminal complaint that he was driving a Ford F-150 pickup on Hochberg Road in Monroeville when he crossed into oncoming traffic shortly before 9 a.m. Sunday and collided head-on with a motorcycle driven by Lawrence Matvey, 69, of Monroeville.

Mr. Mathias told passers-by he stumbled upon the crash scene when he was searching for a dog that got loose, according to a criminal complaint. He quickly left the scene under the guise that he needed to find his dog while passers-by, including a nurse, tended to Mr. Matvey.

Mr. Matvey died at Forbes Regional Hospital soon after.

Police tracing the truck at the crash scene learned that it was registered to Mr. Mathias' mother, Julie Mathias, and wife, Heather Mathias. Neither could be reached for comment Monday.

Witnesses, who were not named in court documents, told police Mr. Mathias came to the family home after the crash and asked his mother to call 911 and say she had struck the motorcyclist because "she had a clean driving record and he did not want to get in trouble," police wrote in the complaint.

Instead, Mr. Mathias' wife called 911 and said she was responsible for the crash, police wrote. Allegheny County homicide Lt. Andrew Schurman said in an email that police are "exploring our options as far as charging her."

He said police do not yet know for certain why Mr. Mathias crossed into oncoming traffic and they are currently awaiting the results of his blood test.

Funeral services for Mr. Matvey, whose obituary said was a retired U.S. Steel employee and former PA Ride Captain for the Patriot Guard, will be buried this week. A visitation will be held at from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and a funeral service at 11 a.m. Friday, both at the Hart Funeral Home, Murrysville.

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Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil. First Published July 1, 2013 12:30 AM


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