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DA: No charges against snow plow driver in deadly pedestrian accident in downtown Reading

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
69 News, follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 01 2014 01:51:45 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 02 2014 04:13:37 AM CDT

Berks County's district attorney has concluded his investigation of a deadly pedestrian accident involving a snow plow in downtown Reading.

READING, Pa. -

The driver of a Reading snow plow has been cleared of any wrongdoing in a deadly pedestrian accident in center city last month, Berks County District Attorney John Adams announced Tuesday.

Gilbert Birdsey was crossing Penn Street in the area of 6th Street when he was struck around 11:20 a.m. on March 3, officials said.

Birdsey, 71, was rushed to the hospital, where he died of his injuries a short time later.

The investigation conducted by the district attorney's accident reconstruction team and city police revealed that Birdsey was crossing Penn Street while facing a steady "don't walk" signal, said Adams, adding that the plow driver did not commit any motor vehicle violations.

"This was a tragic accident and it did not warrant any criminal charges," Adams said. "The snow plow operator did not violate the motor vehicle code. He was not going over the speed limit, and he was not under the influence."

The accident happened four blocks from Birdsey's home. Officials said they hope his death serves as a lesson for other pedestrians who chose to ignore the "don't walk" signals.

"For the safety of everyone, they should not be crossing the crosswalk when it says 'do not walk,'" said Adams.

City officials declined to release the plow driver's name.