Police: Driver accused in fatal hit-and-run says he thought he hit deer



PITTSBURGH - A man charged with vehicular homicide after police said he hit a pedestrian in Brookline over the weekend and fled the scene, remains in jail Monday.

Investigators said Michael Rafaloski may have been drunk when he hit and killed 25-year-old Sean Conroy, of Munhall.

The crash happened on Pioneer Avenue as Conroy was crossing the street early Sunday morning, police said.

According to the criminal complaint, Rafaloski said he thought he hit a deer.

A neighbor said she was sleeping and was awakened by the sound of the crash. Another person nearby at the time of the crash told police he also heard the crash. The criminal complaint stated that the witness then saw the victim lying on the street.

The witness called 911 and waited until emergency officials arrived. Conroy was transported to UPMC Mercy Hospital where he later died.

The criminal complaint stated several passengers were in Rafaloski’s car at the time of crash. Those passengers said they were all drinking at a nearby bar, and said Rafoloski was drinking beer and shots before the crash. 

Police said they tracked Rafaloski to his home in Beechview and officers, “observed a strong odor of alcoholic beverages coming from Rafaloski’s breath.”

 The criminal complaint went on to say that the passengers in Rafaloski’s car “thought he hit a person on Pioneer Avenue and discussed the fact that a person may have been struck.”

 Rafaloski is expected to appear in court next week.