Man faces charges in Pittsburgh bike crash

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A Lincoln Place man was charged Wednesday with striking a bicyclist in Lawrenceville this summer and fleeing the scene, marking one more milestone for the 24-year-old victim who continues to recover from his injuries.

Pittsburgh police wrote in a criminal complaint that Dan Yablonsky was riding his bicycle on Liberty Avenue early May 13 when Beau Fishinger, 30, struck him, crumpling both Mr. Yablonsky and his bike before driving away.

Mr. Fishinger was awaiting arraignment Wednesday night on charges of aggravated assault by vehicle, driving with a suspended license, failing to immediately notify police and other offenses.

"There's an enormous [amount] of relief that, one, things are finally going to end and, two, justice is going to be brought, hopefully, in this situation," Mr. Yablonsky said.

Investigators wrote in a criminal complaint that Mr. Fishinger's mother, Kim Higgins, called police about seven hours after the crash to say that she suspected her son was responsible and he wanted to surrender.

In an interview with police, Mr. Fishinger said he met some friends at Saddle Ridge around midnight and drank one or two Miller Lite beers with friends before getting into the black Jeep Wrangler he shares with his mother, according to the complaint.

"He stated that he did not see what he hit, it happened too quickly," police wrote. "When asked why he left the scene, he answered that he knew his driving privilege was suspended and he would get in trouble for driving and since he thought it was a dog or a deer he went home."

Medics took Mr. Yablonsky to Allegheny General Hospital in critical condition. Doctors sedated him for more than three weeks and worked to repair a torn aorta; fractures to his wrists, legs, pelvis and sacrum; and additional injuries that caused bruising on his brain. He continues to have trouble with his vision.

Mr. Yablonsky, who works part time for advocacy group Bike Pittsburgh, said he spent several months in rehabilitation centers and began walking again in September.

He rode a bike for the first time last month and said he hopes to do so again in the spring.

Mr. Yablonsky said he hopes this accident and others in the city will help prompt discussion about ways to prevent future accidents.

neigh_city - Transportation

Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil.


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