Man dies after being hit by pickup truck in Washington

December 23, 2013
Christopher Quinonez

A 60-year-old Washington man died Sunday morning hours after he was struck by a pickup truck while trying to cross Jefferson Avenue in the city.

James Burgess was hit by the vehicle near the Burger King fast-food restaurant at 775 Jefferson Ave. shortly before 3 a.m.

City police said he was conscious and alert at the scene, but he complained of chest pains and told officers that a pickup truck had “run over” him moments before. He was taken to Washington Hospital with severe hip and upper torso injuries, and later flown by medical helicopter to UPMC-Mercy hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment.

He died at the hospital shortly after 5 a.m., according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office. The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the chest and stomach, which was determined after an autopsy late Monday afternoon.

Washington police said shortly after finding Burgess on the road, they located a pickup truck that had “obvious, disabling damage” to the right front wheel area. The truck, which had Louisiana plates, was abandoned a few hundred feet away from the crash site, police said.

Police said they later charged the driver, Christopher Quinonez, 26, of 660 Maryland St., Washington, with accident causing death and careless driving. Court documents do not indicate how or where officers found Quinonez following the crash.

Quinonez was arraigned Sunday night by District Judge David Mark and taken to the Washington County jail on $100,000 bond. His preliminary hearing before District Judge Robert Redlinger is scheduled for 11 a.m. Dec. 31.

Mike Jones has been a news reporter since 2005, covering crime, state and municipal government, education and energy. In addition to working at the Observer-Reporter, he also has spent time at the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail and He holds a journalism degree from West Virginia University.

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