Burgettstown man arraigned on homicide charge

August 14, 2014
Stanley Reisdorf leaves Washington County Courthouse after a preliminary hearing in May. Reisdorf faces charges in connection with a vehicle accident in March 2013 that killed Debra L. Strong on Route 18 in Hanover Township. - Katie Roupe/Observer-Reporter Order a Print

A Burgettstown man was formally arraigned Thursday in Washington County Court on a homicide by vehicle charge in connection with a crash in Hanover Township that killed his girlfriend and severely injured a Prosperity man.

Stanley J. Reisdorf, 45, of 1515 Main St., appeared before Washington County Judge Gary Gilman and pleaded not guilty to homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle and a list of summary charges.

Reisdorf’s vehicle was passing another vehicle in a no-passing zone on Route 18 at Log Cabin Road in Hanover Township on March 7, 2013, when it collided head-on with a pickup truck driven by Curtis Warner, 27, of Hickory.

Investigators estimated that Reisdorf was driving between 79 and 82 mph at impact while Warner was going about 10 mph. Killed in the crash was Debra Strong, 55, of Burgettstown. She was pronounced dead at the scene of multiple injuries. Eric Raineri, 48, of Prosperity, who was a passenger in the other vehicle, was flown to UPMC-Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment of head and leg injuries.

Reisdorf was also taken to UPMC-Presbyterian hospital for treatment. He told investigators he did not see the oncoming truck when he went to pass. Warner testified at Reisdorf’s preliminary hearing he attempted to stop his vehicle. A state police reconstruction specialist said analysis of the crash scene showed Weaver braked heavily and tried to steer away to avoid the collision.

Reisdorf represented himself at the hearing. He said in court he tried to secure a public defender, but was told he is in ineligible. He is expected back in court in October.

Reisdorf remains free on $50,000 unsecured bond.

Francesca Sacco joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in November 2013, and covers the Washington County Courthouse and education. Prior to working with the Observer-Reporter, Francesca was a staff writer with a Gannett paper in Ohio. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor’s degree in print and broadcast journalism.

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