Man arrested after woman killed changing tire in Fayette County

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A man is jailed on charges he was driving drunk when he struck and killed a southwestern Pennsylvania woman and injured her husband as the couple changed a tire.

Online court records don't list an attorney for 40-year-old Donald Lowther, of Merrittstown.

He's charged with homicide by vehicle while driving drunk and other crimes.

The Fayette County Coroner's Office identified the woman killed as Kelly Jo Branson, 21, of Uniontown. She was pronounced dead at 8:05 p.m. at the scene of the crash in Redstone.

Redstone police say Lowther ran into Ms. Branson and her husband, Adam, as they were changing a tire along U.S. Route 40, about 40 miles south of Pittsburgh.

Mr. Branson was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital where he was reported in serious condition Friday.

One of the Bransons was wearing a fluorescent safety vest and the couple's car, which was partially on the narrow road, had its hazard lights on.

No autopsy will be performed and a cause of death is pending toxicology tests.


Moriah Balingit of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette contributed.


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