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Friday, 04 April 2014 00:13

Clairton, PA, Body Shop Owner Killed in Accident

An Elizabeth, PA, body shop owner was killed when he was struck by a vehicle driven by a volunteer firefighter in Clairton, PA, on March 12, 2014.

Phillip Maffeo, 66, of Elizabeth was hit by the Jeep Patriot about 9:14 a.m. as he was attempting to cross St. Clair Avenue in the 600 block. Investigators said it is unclear whether Maffeo looked for traffic before he entered the street.

Maffeo owned the auto body center Central Auto Center at the intersection of St. Clair Avenue and Route 837. His body shop served as a gathering place for friends of Phillip Maffeo’s.

“It was like a little hangout,” a local man said of the body shop. “We all loved him.”

Allegheny County police lieutenant Andrew Schurman identified the driver as a Clairton volunteer firefighter. Schurman said the driver had just responded to a fire alarm that was canceled and was heading back to the station when the accident occurred.

“We have to determine how fast he was going,” said Schurman, adding that it didn’t appear excessive speed was a factor.

A man who went to the scene and would only identify himself as a friend of the victim said he thinks Maffeo may have been en route to a hardware store across the street from his parked car when he was hit.

Maffeo was taken to Jefferson Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:04 a.m., according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s office.

Clairton VFD chief John Lattanzi said he could not comment on the accident.

“After the county is done investigating, we’ll have some remarks,” he said.

An autopsy is planned and no charges had been filed.

County police say the accident remains under investigation.

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