Man tells police coughing fit caused PNC crash

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A man's coughing fit caused him to lose control of his girlfriend's SUV and crash into the glass doors of PNC's Firstside Center Downtown on Tuesday, causing a commotion that drew a bomb squad and hordes of curious onlookers during rush hour.

Police this afternoon said Richard McGee, 67, of the North Side, who had been questioned about the incident, would be released and faces only four traffic citations.

The crash happened about 2 p.m at the building on First Avenue. Police said Mr. McGee had a medical condition that caused him to cough and lose control of the Hyundai Santa Fe he was driving, which he told investigators he had borrowed from his girlfriend without her knowledge.

He fled the scene of the crash, prompting police to call the bomb squad and cordon and clear a three-block stretch of Downtown as a precaution. Traffic was slowed as the streets remained blocked for nearly three hours.

Police suspected Mr. McGee since Tuesday night after they spoke with his girlfriend. He surrendered today alongside Sheriff William Mullen, whom he contacted this afternoon to help him surrender.

Sadie Gurman: or 412-263-1878. First Published February 8, 2012 9:45 PM


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