Man accused of hitting 81-year-old pedestrian apologizes, says he didn’t realize he hit a person

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — Allegheny County Police charged a McKeesport man in connection to an 81-year-old White Oak man’s death.

In January 2022, police said Jeffry Carlson was driving along Jacks Run Road, and he hit and killed 81-year-old Craig Peden.

Carlson was released from jail on his own recognizance, and spoke to Channel 11′s Gabriella DeLuca.

”I feel remorse. I felt a bump, and my windshield came in, and I thought I hit a deer. I found out later it was a human being,” Carlson said.

Months after the crash, police charged Carlson with causing an accident involving death and failing to stop.

Looking back, Carlson told Channel 11 he should have stopped.

”I should have stopped, but it was Route 48. There was no place to pull over, and, like I said, I thought I hit a deer or a telephone pole,” he added.

After the crash, Carlson said he kept driving up the road to Denny’s, where he had dinner.

He then noticed how much damage there was to his car, and traveled back down Jacks Run Road.

Police said they stopped Carlson and asked him what happened to his car.

Detectives said Carlson told them he must have hit a pole.

Investigators said he actually hit and killed Craig Peden.

When asked if Carlson had anything to say to Peden’s family, he said, “I would say I’m sorry. I didn’t realize I hit him. I went to church on several occasions, and I said a prayer for him.”

According to Allegheny County detectives, it took so long to charge Carlson because they were waiting on forensic tests and the District Attorney’s Office to do a thorough review of the case.

If convicted of the charges he is facing, Carlson could face significant jail time.