Driver in Route 51 crash had record of traffic violations
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The driver of a pickup truck in the June 11 crash that severely injured the mother of a bride-to-be had racked up six guilty pleas and more than $1,000 in fines for traffic violations in the 18 months before the collision.
Adam Jay Mains, 20, of West Elizabeth, also faces two additional charges that were filed in May, including driving without a license, according to court records.
Mr. Mains was driving south on Route 51 near the entrance to a construction zone in Pleasant Hills when he collided with a car that was turning left from the northbound lanes into the Primanti Bros. restaurant parking lot.
The crash injured seven, including Brenda and Keith Schragel, the mother and stepfather of a bride-to-be who were on their way to her rehearsal dinner. The bride, Dana Gump of South Park, postponed the wedding.
Pleasant Hills police Sgt. Rick Painter told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette last week that the pickup truck zoomed out of a line of backed-up traffic waiting to enter the work zone and up the empty right lane, colliding with the turning vehicle at a speed he estimated at 50 mph. The work zone speed limit is 30 mph.
"He pulled into the right lane and accelerated," Sgt. Painter said.
Allegheny County police, who were investigating the crash, had not filed charges as of Tuesday.
According to court records, Mr. Mains faces a hearing next Wednesday before District Judge Beth Mills on charges of driving without a license and trespassing by motor vehicle in an incident in Elizabeth Borough in May.
Last year, Mr. Mains entered six guilty pleas in various magisterial district courts in connection with four incidents. He paid $1,074 in fines.
In July, he pleaded guilty to careless driving in Baldwin Borough and paid a $109.50 fine.
Earlier in the month, he was charged in Jefferson Hills with purchasing, possessing or consuming alcohol as a minor; operating a vehicle with alcohol in his system as a minor; and carrying a passenger in the open truck bed while driving faster than 35 mph. He pleaded guilty to each charge and paid $689.50 in fines.
In June 2009 he was charged with driving 23 mph faster than the speed limit in Lincoln. He pleaded guilty and paid a $165.50 fine, according to court records.
In January 2009 he was charged in Brentwood with a violation involving signaling and turning and was fined $109.50 after pleading guilty.
Attempts to reach Mr. Mains on Tuesday were unsuccessful.
There have been several other crashes around the work zone near Lewis Run Road since construction began. In both directions, two lanes of Route 51 traffic are required to merge into one.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has blamed drivers for speeding and failing to obey traffic signs.
Sgt. Painter said Tuesday that state and Pleasant Hills police have cited several motorists, including some for driving up the center turn lane for long distances to get around traffic.
First Published June 23, 2010 12:00 am