Former Allegheny County police officer arrested in fatal McKeesport hit-and-run

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Allegheny County homicide detectives arrested a former county police officer this morning in connection with a fatal hit-and-run crash in McKeesport.

Timothy Tatters, 64, of White Oak, is accused of not stopping after police said he hit 56-year-old Lorraine Wilkes with his Jeep Cherokee early Wednesday morning near the Sunoco gas station on Lysle Boulevard.

He has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident, a felony, and careless driving, according to court documents.

Mr. Tatters remains in the Allegheny County Jail where he awaits arraignment.

Ms. Wilkes was killed after she was struck between 4 and 4:45 a.m. and thrown by the impact onto the sidewalk.

Police found Mr. Tatters, who retired from the force in 1993, after examining debris left at the scene from his Jeep. McKeesport police got a tip from a neighbor who reported seeing a similar vehicle arrive home in the early morning hours.

According to a criminal complaint, Mr. Tatters told police he was driving about 35 mph when he struck something in that area that he thought could have been a dog. He described a "light rain/freezing mix" at the time, according to police.

Asked by detectives if he stopped at or near the scene to see what he hit, Mr. Tatters said he did not.

When he got home, he checked for damage to his car and thought he may have hit a deer instead.

He "was adamant that he never saw anything," according to the complaint.

Mr. Tatters told police earlier that night he had been at Country Corral Bar -- where his ex-daughter-in-law works and is training as a new bartender -- from 2:30 p.m. Tuesday until 1:30 a.m. the next day. He said he drank three 16-ounce beers.

He told police he next drove the woman to her home in Glassport and visited there with her and his grandson before heading home.

Ms. Wilkes was found about 4:45 a.m. Wednesday and taken by ambulance to UPMC Mercy, where she was pronounced dead at 7:11 a.m.

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Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1944 and on Twitter: @borntolede.


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