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Posted February 26, 2013 EST

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State Police To Look At Deadly Accident Involving Fire Chief
United States (Pennsylvania) - A state police investigator will help review the deadly pedestrian accident in downtown Scranton involving city Fire Chief Tom Davis. Lackawanna County District Attorney Andy Jarbola said he and acting Police Chief Carl Graziano agreed Monday to ask state police at Dunmore to provide an "independent set of eyes" as the investigation into the crash continues.

"I don't want any questions to arise that, you know, Scranton police are investigating a Scranton firefighter. ... Let's just have somebody independently take a look at it and give an opinion," Mr. Jarbola said.

Chief Graziano called it a "wise" move because of the involvement of a public official.

"Our investigator and their investigator will review everything together," the chief said.

Debra Major, 60, of Jessup, was crossing Linden Street on Friday afternoon when she was hit by a pickup truck driven by Chief Davis as he turned left from North Washington Avenue. Mrs. Major died Saturday at Geisinger Community Medical Center.

Efforts to reach Chief Davis were unsuccessful Monday. He was not at work, and Mayor Chris Doherty said the chief is taking vacation time this week.

Chief Graziano said police on Monday obtained a hard copy of the surveillance video of the crash taken from William J. Nealon Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. Their initial review of the footage Friday showed Mrs. Major was outside the crosswalk when she stepped into the path of the turning truck, which had a green arrow.

Police were also contacting businesses in the area to see if any other surveillance cameras captured the crash, Chief Graziano said.

Unlike many private companies, the city has no universal policy requiring an employee who is involved in a motor vehicle accident while working to submit to a drug and alcohol test, human resources director Gina McAndrew said.

Among the city's four unions, only Department of Public Works employees have a provision in their contract for post-accident testing, she said. There is no policy for administrative employees.

Mr. Doherty said Chief Davis was on duty and returning to City Hall at the time of the crash. He was driving his private truck because his city vehicle was being repaired, the mayor said.

Chief Graziano reiterated Monday that police had no suspicion Chief Davis was intoxicated and no probable cause for a blood alcohol test.

"There were many people in contact with Chief Davis, and there is zero indication (of suspected intoxication) from any of them," he said.

Mr. Jarbola confirmed Mrs. Major was a member of a county grand jury. The Times-Tribune previously reported that she was downtown because she was serving on a federal grand jury.

Written by The Times-Tribune

Courtesy of YellowBrix - YellowBrix


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