Westmoreland City man arrested in crash that killed passenger

·2 min read

Jun. 10—A Westmoreland City man was arrested Wednesday on homicide by vehicle charges after state police said it was reported he was speeding prior to an August crash in Hempfield that killed a passenger, according to court papers.

Nick M. Rossi, 34, who also has a Greensburg address listed in court records, was being held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $25,000 bail. Passenger Lucinda Jones, 41, of Finleyville, died at a hospital from blunt force trauma to the trunk, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner.

Troopers were called to Arona Road at 10 p.m. Aug. 30 after a car crashed into a tree. Two people were being extricated — Rossi from the drivers seat and Jeffrey D. Jones from the passenger seat, police said.

Backseat passenger Lucinda Jones told troopers she had chest pains but was otherwise able to communicate and provided authorities with biographical information about herself and her husband. They were friends with Rossi.

While he was being extricated, Rossi told police he had used marijuana and took a few shots of whiskey earlier in the day, according to court papers. A witness told police she saw the car speeding just before the crash.

Jeffrey Jones later told investigators that the car was destined for his home after the group visited Rossi's residence. Rossi appeared irritated with Lucinda Jones and Jeffrey Jones told investigators he thought Rossi was speeding and driving recklessly on purpose, according to court papers. Jones said he hadn't heard from Rossi since the crash.

Both Jeffrey and Lucinda Jones were hospitalized. Lucinda Jones died at AHN Forbes Hospital in Monroeville about 90 minutes after the crash, police said. A Jeannette native, she attended First Evangelical Free Church in McKeesport and loved animals, according to her obituary.

Rossi is charged with homicide by vehicle, reckless endangerment and summary offenses. It was unclear from court papers if he was hurt in the crash. He did not have an attorney listed in online court records. A June 24 preliminary hearing is set.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, rsignorini@triblive.com or via Twitter .