Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

CITY/EAST/NORTH [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

CITY/EAST/NORTH [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

CITY

Woman gets probation for cashing SS checks

A Hazelwood woman who pleaded guilty to theft of government money for cashing a dead man's Social Security checks for 23 years has been sentenced to five years of probation.

Roni Halsel, 56, of Hazelwood cashed checks totaling around $180,000 that were meant for Robert Shelton, who died in 1989, according to a criminal information filed in U.S. District Court. The theft ended on July 3, 2012.

U.S. District Judge Terrence F. McVerry also ordered Halsel to pay back $179,044.67.

EAST

Driver in fatal crash may have had illness

The driver whose pickup truck collided with two cars Thursday night in Monroeville, killing a woman and her son, might have had a medical problem before the crash, Allegheny County police said Friday.

The 65-year-old pickup truck driver, whose name has not been released, was driving south on Route 286 in Monroeville about 6:30 p.m. when he crossed into the northbound lane, struck two cars and nearly hit a third, Lt. Andrew Schurman of the homicide unit said.

The driver of the first car that was hit was not injured. In the second car that was hit, four people were injured and two of them died.

Jennifer Sample, 28, who was riding in the front passenger seat, died at the scene, and her 7-year-old son, Daniel Eck, died at a hospital.

The driver of that car, whose name has not been released, was in serious condition Friday. A 15-month-old child in the car was not seriously injured.

"At this point, the investigators do not believe drugs or alcohol played a role in the collision but must wait for toxicology testing to be completed to be definitive," Lt. Schurman said.

He said Allegheny County police will turn over their findings to the district attorney's office, which will determine whether charges will be filed.

Mortgage 'kickback' lawsuit dismissed

A federal judge Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Westmoreland County man accusing Cincinnati-based Fifth-Third Bank of taking "kickbacks" from mortgage insurers. …

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