Pedestrian struck on Route 19 dies

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A Canonsburg man who was struck by a vehicle while attempting to cross four lanes of traffic on Route 19 in North Strabane Township Friday afternoon to attend a wedding has died.


Police said Daniel Kapis Jr., 64, successfully walked across the southbound lanes of Route 19 and stopped briefly on the medial strip before he attempted to cross the northbound lanes and was hit by a car driven by Francis Rhoades, 25, of Canonsburg, shortly after 3:30 p.m.


North Strabane Township firefighters set up a landing zone at North Strabane Township Park and the man was flown by emergency helicopter to Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh. Kapis was pronounced dead just before 5 p.m. at the hospital.


Police Office Michael Lukanski does not anticipate filing charges against Rhoades.


Police said Kapis was on his way to attend a wedding at Chartiers Hill United Presbyterian Church when the accident occurred.


The Rev. Donald Austin, pastor of the church, said he was in the church parking lot when the man was struck by the vehicle.


Austin, who performed the wedding ceremony, said he heard a noise and thought two cars collided until someone said a man was lying on the road.


Austin prayed over Kapis until a nurse who apparently was also attending the wedding came to offer assistance until paramedics arrived.


The wedding guests prayed along with Austin and the couple in the church sanctuary and throughout the ceremony, Austin said.


Both northbound lanes of Route 19 were closed for more than 2 1/2 hours as police investigated the accident, and traffic was at a standstill on Routes 19 and 519.


Staff writer Kathie Warco contributed to this report.


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