GREENSBURG (KDKA) — Police have made an arrest in connection with the fatal hit-and-run of a grandfather in South Greensburg last month.
Clarence Wolff, 86, of Greensburg, was struck on Broad Street near DeGennaro’s Restaurant on the night of April 19. He remained in ICU for a few weeks, but died from his injuries on Tuesday.
Wolff suffered brain and spinal injuries.
Investigators say they have now arrested and charged 42-year-old Jonathan McElroy, of Mount Pleasant, in the case.
According to authorities, a tip from a local car dealership lead them to McElroy.
Police say employees at the dealership called them after recognizing that a Chevy Cruze they had matched the description of the one wanted in the hit-and-run.
The vehicle was owned by the dealership, but McElroy, who is an employee at the dealership, was behind the wheel at the time of the incident.
McElroy was taken in for questioning.
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Police say McElroy initially told them the damage to the vehicle was done as the result of a fight at a bowling alley parking lot.
However, police say when they told him Wolff died, he admitted to hitting him.
“Yesterday, myself and the Westmoreland County detectives responded to the residence,” said South Greensburg Police Chief Scott Fanchalsky. “He was taken into custody, at which time yesterday evening, he did advise us he was the driver of the vehicle and quote, in his words, ‘he made the biggest mistake of his life.'”
Police say when McElroy why he didn’t stop to help, McElroy said he “panicked.”
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Lauren Gerritsen, Wolff’s granddaughter, says she has gained some peace of mind after the arrest.
“We didn’t know whether to, like, cheer or to cry, you know?” she said.
Investigators say McElroy tried to repair the damage believed to be caused by the hit-and-run.
“He was trying to cover his tracks. He was trying to get around the law, and, in this case, he didn’t,” Gerritsen said.
Gerritsen says she doesn’t understand why McElroy didn’t late call police after fleeing the scene.
“You’re an adult. You know what is right and wrong. And you know that when you left that scene, and you saw what you did, you left. You knew that you were making a mistake … How can you sleep? How can you talk to people on the streets? How can you communicate with your family, knowing everything that you did?” she said.
McElroy is being held in the Westmoreland County Jail while he awaits arraignment.
He is charged with accidents involving death or personal injury, tampering with evidence and lying to police.
“The courts will do what they’re gonna do, but at the end of the day, I don’t get my gramps back. We don’t get him back. We just have to live with that forever,” Gerritsen said.