- Grove City, Pennsylvania

February 28, 2013

Police: Former congresswoman hit by car in Slippery Rock

By Monica Pryts/Staff Writer
Allied News

SLIPPERY ROCK — Former U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart was hurt Jan. 26 in downtown Slippery Rock, where a passing car hit her while she was opening the door to her station wagon.

According to the report, which was sent as requested Tuesday to Allied News by Slippery Rock Police Chief Terry Fedokovitz, who also responded to the accident:

Police were called at 11:02 p.m. to the 250 block of South Main Street for a car versus pedestrian accident; the driver, later determined to be a 17-year-old girl, had fled the scene of the crash.

A group of people was standing around the pedestrian, who was lying on the road and identified as Ms. Hart, 50, of Bradford Woods, Pa.

She was conscious, alert and able to give her name. Her brother, Terry Hart, told police a silver Pontiac hit the wagon, then headed north on South Main.

A witness saw the Pontiac pull into the parking lot of a nearby gas station, where police found the car and driver with help from Slippery Rock University police.

Ms. Hart told Fedokovitz she had walked to the driver's side of her wagon to open the passenger door for her friends, and "that is all she remembered."

After an ambulance took Ms. Hart to an unidentified hospital, Fedokovitz went to the gas station to question the driver, who was sitting in the back seat of the SRU patrol car.

She was visibly upset and crying and realized she hit something but didn't know what it was. She briefly stopped in the middle of South Main after the collision then drove a little further and pulled into the gas station to call for help.

Fedokovitz told her she had run into an open vehicle door and a pedestrian.

"After hearing that, she became extremely upset and crying," he said in the report.

He tried to calm her down and let her sit in her own car to relax. The girl said she didn't remember what happened and didn't see an open car door. She had been coming from a friend's home on state Route 173.

Fedokovitz didn't detect any signs of impairment and they were joined by the girl's father.

No charges were filed.

The girl's name and address were blacked out on the report, which notes she is a juvenile.

Other media reports said Ms. Hart was expected to make a full recovery.

The Republican represented Pennsylvania's 4th congressional district from 2001 to 2007; it covers areas including parts of Butler, Lawrence and Mercer counties.

She lost in 2006 to Democrat Jason Altmire. The seat is now held by Republican Scott Perry, who was recently sworn in.

Published Feb. 16, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.