Tow truck driver charged in fatal Penn Hills crash headed to trial

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PENN HILLS, Pa. - A judge ruled Friday that there is enough information for the tow truck driver charged with homicide by vehicle after a fatal crash in Penn Hills to go to trial.

According to police, Duane Woodson, 50, of Pittsburgh crossed into the opposite lane and collided head-on with a vehicle driven by 45-year-old Christine Beilstein, of Plum, who was pronounced dead at the scene on May 12.

Beilstein’s 9-year-old son was flown to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and was in critical condition with a severe head injury for more than a week.

A paramedic testified Friday and said the boy suffered a major head injury as result of the crash.

A Penn Hills police officer who responded to the scene of the accident also testified Friday. He said Woodson had difficulty standing and slurred his speech. Woodson’s Blood-Alcohol content after the crash was 0.1, over the legal limit.

Woodson’s mother, Katherine Woodson, said Friday that she will testify for her son.

“I plan on testifying on his behalf. He was not drunk,” Katherine Woodson said.

Police said Woodson attempted to flee the scene on foot after the crash on Middletown Road but was apprehended.

Michael Holland said he saw the tow truck cross the center line and hit Beilstein's car head-on.

"I knew the accident was tragic," Holland said. "I knew it was a fatality."  

Officials have not said when Woodson’s trial will begin.