Four-vehicle crash on I-70 claims the life of Canonsburg man

February 22, 2014
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Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter
Debris was scattered Saturday across all four lanes of Interstate 70 from a four-vehicle accident that claimed the life of a Canonsburg man. Order a Print
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Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter
All four lanes of Interstate 70 closed for hours Saturday in South Strabane Township following a fatal four-vehicle crash that spread across the highway. Order a Print
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Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter
The force of the initial collision Saturday forced a sport utility vehicle driven by the victim of a fatal crash off the side of the eastbound berm on Interstate 70 in South Strabane Township. Order a Print
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Brian Anselmino

A well-known youth sports coach in Canonsburg and former basketball standout at Duquesne University was killed and two others were injured in a four-vehicle crash Saturday that left debris scattered across Interstate 70 in South Strabane Township.

Brian L. Anselmino, 45, of Highland Drive, was killed when an eastbound motorist lost control of a car about 1 p.m. and it crossed the grassy medial into the oncoming lanes, where it crashed head-on into his sport utility vehicle, Washington County Coroner Tim Warco said.

Anselmino’s son, Anthony, 13, was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital and was expected to survive, friends of the family said.

“I’m kind of crushed by the whole thing at this point,” said Tony Gregory, president of Canonsburg Youth Baseball Association, for which Anselmino was a coach.

The driver of the car that collided with Anselmino’s vehicle, Bryan Anthony, 35, of Charleroi, was not wearing a seat belt and he sufffered major injuries in the crash, state police said. State police said Anthony’s car also struck an eastbound tractor-trailer before coming to rest across the eastbound lanes. Police said the truck damaged, struck Anselmino’s car and veered across the highway, where it came to rest blocking the westbound lanes. The vehicle driven by the fourth motorist, Matthew Stantspainter, 36, of Washington, struck debris and traveled into the grassy medial.

The trucker, Jack Pranno, 52, of Washington state, and Stantspainter were not injured, police said.

Anselmino was pronounced dead at the scene at 2:14 p.m. of multiple injuries, and his death was ruled accidental by Warco.

The crash resulted in the hourslong closure of I-70 about a half-mile east of its south junction to Interstate 79.

The crash occurred on the eighth anniversary of the death of Anselmino’s daughter, Amanda Pauline, who died at the age of 2 following an illness, the child’s obituary indicated.

He was a standout basketball player at Ringgold High School, having been a 1986 graduate from New Eagle. He was recruited the following year to Duquesne and played there first as a forward and then as a guard in the 1989 season.

“Brian was a great player at Ringgold, and then he got a scholarship at Duquesne,” said Rick Bell, coach of the Canon-McMillan High School boys basketball team.

“That was something he was very proud of,” said Bell, adding Anselmino was a volunteer and then a paid coach of his teams for about four years.

He said Anselmino left coaching at the high school because of demands in his career at Thoratec Corp., where he was a territory manager for the heart disease products company.

“He was very successful in his professional level after his playing career ended,” Bell said. “We became dear friends.”

Gregory said Anselmino’s death caused great grief to members of the baseball association and they would be planning to organize an event to honor him and help his family.

Anselmino was married to Denise Wright Anselmino, who also is the parent of Danielle, 13, Anthony’s twin sister. He was a son of Larry and Mary Ann Kruki Anselmino of New Eagle.

Additional details on the accident were not available from state police Saturday night.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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