Violent drunken driving crash claims the lives of former Pittsburgh couple
A former Pittsburgh couple died in a violent drunken driving collision Thursday in Florida, police said.
Douglas Simpson, 64, and Christina Simpson, 53, were returning to their St. Petersburg home from a Thanksgiving celebration when a vehicle driven by Anthony A. Neeley, 31, of Seminole, Fla., smashed into their car, police said. The Simpsons died instantly.
Neeley was driving at more than 100 mph just before the collision, police said, and had hit a vehicle nearby.
Police charged Neeley with drunken driving manslaughter, leaving the scene of a crash, driving without insurance and driving with a license for business purposes only. Police said Neeley’s blood alcohol level exceeded the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Christina Simpson’s brother, Emanuel J. Skarvelis of Severna Park, Md., said Saturday that the couple had married in July 1997. They lived in the area of Pittsburgh’s North Shore, Skarvelis said, until they moved to Florida in July 2002.
“Doug loved to be on or near the water,” Skarvelis said.
The Simpsons met through their common love of running, Skarvelis said, and ran several Pittsburgh Marathons together. In Florida, Doug Simpson worked at a local resort, while Christina worked at All Children’s Hospital.
Christina Simpson was a graduate of Keystone Oaks High School in the late 1970s, her brother said, and went to Community College of Allegheny County.
“They loved Florida, but my sister said many times her heart was in Pittsburgh,” Skarvelis said.
He added that the couple visited him in October after delaying the trip several times.
“They finally made it,” Skarvelis said. “It was like they wanted to come by and say farewell.”
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.