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Police Investigating Head-On Crash As Intentional

BUTLER COUNTY (KDKA) – Two people are dead after a late night head-on crash in Butler County, and now police are investigating whether or not one of the drivers may have intentionally caused the accident.

It happened on Route 68 in Forward Township about 11:20 p.m. Wednesday night.

KDKA's Harold Hayes Reports:

State Police say before the crash 38-year-old Michael Reid had violated a protection from abuse order by attempting to break into an ex-girlfriend's home on S. Duffy Street in Butler Township. That PFA might be the key to Reid's state of mind.

Police say his ex-girlfriend reported he threw a brick at her house and car.

During the course of that investigation, police say Reid made a statement alluding to the fact that he would be dead by morning.

"Last night, there was a criminal investigation regarding a PFA violation and the male involved had fled the scene," said Trooper Dan Kesten, of the Pennsylvania State Police.

After he left the house, police were there to answer the phone when he tried to call his ex-girlfriend.

"Mr. Reid made a statement to the officer that he would be dead by morning and we would be reading about it in the paper," said Butler Township Police Chief John Hays.

Police say as they were preparing to put an alert out on Reid and his vehicle, the call for the accident came over.

"He was intoxicated," said Trooper Kesten. "He was traveling in the oncoming lane."

It all happened quickly. The call for police to come to the house was at 11:07 p.m. The call about the accident came in at 11:21 p.m.

"We did not get in any pursuit," said Chief Hays. "Actually, we were still at the residence when everything occurred."

According to a PFA filed by Reid's ex-girlfriend in May, he went on tangents, rants and raves.

She claims he had anger issues, stopped taking classes for those anger issues, and also had issues with medication and alcohol, and he threatened suicide.

KDKA's Heather Abraham Reports:

The threats included punching her windshield, jumping out of her car and planting himself on railroad tracks, refusing to move. After a third suicide attempt she had him 302'd.

Reid's ex-girlfriend also once made an effort to have him involuntarily committed because of her concern about his actions, according to the PFA.

KDKA was told that 36-year-old Hannah Swigart of Butler was on her way home from work when Reid's blue Neon crashed into her. The impact sent her Jeep Cherokee spinning and flipping onto a guardrail. Swigart worked at UPS and was the mother of three children.

Photo Credit: State Police

"I heard a loud boom," said Matt Alabran, who called 911. "I asked my wife what happened. She looked out the window and said it was a wreck."

Police could only say they are looking into whether this accident was a DUI-related crash or if Reid may have caused the crash in a suicide attempt. Thursday morning, they could not say conclusively one way or the other.

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