Sewickley Township driver with chest pains dies on way to meet ambulance
A 53-year-old man who had called 911 to report he was having chest pains was driving to meet an ambulance when he crashed along the way and died of a heart attack, the Westmoreland County Coroner’s Office said.
Timothy J. Sucanic of Sewickley Township was discovered lying outside his vehicle early Tuesday after he wrecked on Clopper Street, just a few hundred feet from his home, Deputy Coroner Joshua C. Zappone said.
Authorities believe Sucanic was headed to the Herminie Volunteer Fire Department station about 1:45 a.m. to meet Sewickley Township Emergency Medical Service paramedics because he had chest pains while driving.
Zappone said Sucanic was discovered by a passing motorist about three hours after he called 911.
“We believe he was already driving toward his home when he called (911) and just decided to continue driving to the station to meet ambulance personnel,” Zappone said.
The fire station is about a mile from Sucanic’s home.
Authorities said his vehicle crossed to the other side of the roadway, left the roadway and went down an embankment. It came to rest on a residential fence.
Zappone said Sucanic collapsed outside the vehicle after it struck the fence. His body was found about 10 feet from the vehicle.
County Public Safety Director Roland “Buddy” Mertz said dispatch records show the ambulance service was notified about the call at 1:45 a.m. and was given instructions about meeting up with Sucanic.
“I listened to the call,” Mertz said. “The victim told the dispatcher basically, “I don’t want all that commotion near my house. I’m driving to the fire hall.’ The dispatcher pleaded with him to stay, but obviously, that didn’t happen.”
Records show that ambulance personnel arrived at the fire station and found no one there, he said.
“They (ambulance personnel) said they would search the area. It’s obviously a tragedy,” Mertz said.
Sucanic was pronounced dead by Zappone at 5:40 a.m.
Cause of death was acute coronary syndrome due to hypertensive cardiovascular disease. The manner of death was due to natural causes.
Brooks Funeral Home in Mt. Pleasant is in charge of funeral arrangements.
Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or [email protected].