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Vandergrift police, acting on tip, catch hit-and-run driving suspect

posted Jul 1, 2018, 4:14 AM by Joseph Gray


Police say a Washington Township woman left the scene of an accident May 2 during which she injured a motorcyclist.

Bonnie Joyce Guzzi, 55, of Linger Longer Road is charged with failing to stop and give information or aid, accidents involving injury and related charges.

Guzzi waived her right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday before District Judge James Andring in Leechburg.

Police were sent to the intersection of Hancock Avenue and Walnut Street, Vandergrift, to a report that a man on a motorcycle had been injured in a crash with a four-door car, according to court documents. Officers were advised the sedan had left the scene of the accident.

The victim told police he was entering the intersection when the driver of a burgundy Ford Focus cut him off, causing him to strike the passenger side of her car.

After the crash, the victim told police an older woman with gray hair got out of the Focus and approached him. That woman said she needed to head back to her car but proceeded to leave the scene of the accident, the victim said.

The motorcyclist was transported by ambulance to Forbes Hospital in Monroeville with injuries to his leg and neck, police said.

Witnesses on scene confirmed the victim's story, according to police.

Almost a week later, Allegheny Township police Officer Charity Butz reached out to Vandergrift officers to say she had received information from a source claiming the vehicle involved might be found at a residence on Linger Longer Road in Washington Township.

When officers arrived at that home, they found a burgundy Ford Focus with damage to both passenger side doors parked in the driveway.

Guzzi answered the door. Officers asked if she knew why they were there, to which she allegedly replied, “no.”

Police say when officers asked how Guzzi's car had come to be damaged, Guzzi put her head down and started to cry before saying, “It was an accident, honest. I didn't see him until he hit my car!”

Guzzi is free on bond ahead of a plea court hearing scheduled for Aug. 22 before Westmoreland County Judge Meagan A. Bilik-DeFazio in Greensburg.

Matthew Medsger is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4675,