Canonsburg woman to stand trial for hitting husband with truck

November 13, 2013
Tina Olinger

A Canonsburg woman accused of hitting her husband with his own pickup truck last month near a Canonsburg bar, leaving him in critical condition with a head injury, was ordered to stand trial Wednesday on charges including attempted homicide.

Tina Louise Olinger, 41, of 14 E. Pitt St., also was ordered held on charges of aggravated assault, simple assault and aggravated and simple assault with a weapon by District Judge David Mark following a preliminary hearing.

Kevin Olinger, 54, was transferred earlier this week from Kindred Hospital to Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic for treatment after threatening to commit suicide, according to his daughter, Christy Kirks, who told the court that her father spent almost three weeks in the intensive-care unit of Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh before he was transferred to Kindred. Upon his release from Western Psychiatric, he will be transferred to UPMC-Mercy hospital’s brain trauma unit.

He is disoriented and has brain bleeding that affects his behavior and memory, Kirks said.

The Olingers had been at D’s Locker Room, 26 N. Jefferson Ave., Canonsburg, Oct. 9 when a disagreement reportedly arose.

Jason Bails testified he was seated next to the couple at the bar when they started arguing about the truck.

“She may have scratched it, and he told her that she was not a good driver,” Bails said. “She said they needed a smaller truck. She told him she was going to run him over with it, but I took it as a joke.”

Dana Snedeker, who lives in an apartment overlooking a parking lot shared by her building and several neighboring businesses, said she was folding clothes in her bedroom when she heard two people arguing. She glanced out the window and returned to her task when she heard a car alarm.

“A guy was in front of a truck, pounding on the hood. He was then yelling and walking back and forth,” Snedeker testified. “I heard the truck (rev up) and the sound of gravel being flung. He was hanging on the front of the truck, being pushed back.”

Snedeker said the man, later identified as Kevin Olinger, was screaming obscenities at the driver, identified as Tina Olinger.

“The driver hit the gas again and pushed him past the telephone pole,” she added. “I yelled for my husband, and the driver hit the gas again, pushing him past the building. I was astounded what was going on. She hit the gas three times with the guy hanging onto the truck.”

Snedeker said the truck and the people involved were then out of her sight. She did not see Kevin Olinger get hit.

Canonsburg police Officer Matthew Tharp, who filed the charges, said he found Kevin Olinger on his side bleeding from a head wound. Olinger was not responsive. Tharp said he knew Olinger, having been to the couple’s home in the past for domestic disputes.

Tharp tried to talk with Tina Olinger at her home about an hour after the incident. He obtained a search warrant for the Dodge Ram extended-cab pickup truck, which was parked in the Olingers’ driveway. Tharp said there were marks indicating that someone’s hands slid down the hood.

Defense attorney Peter Marcoline III asked Mark to dismiss the attempted homicide charge and one count of aggravated assault.

“The facts are clear,” Marcoline argued. “He was hanging on the truck, and he had time to remove himself from the situation. There was no indication that she was trying to bring about his death.”

Assistant District Attorney Josh Carroll disagreed.

“Just because he was hanging on the truck, she could have stopped, got out and went back into the bar,” Carroll countered. “Three times she guns the truck with him on the hood.”

Mark also denied a request by Marcoline to reduce his client’s $250,000 bond. She remains in Washington County jail.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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