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Driver Charged In Deadly Hit-And-Run Outside PPG Paints Arena

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Feb. 7 will mark a year since 55-year-old Michael May was hit by a van while crossing Fifth Avenue near PPG Paints Arena. The driver took off; May died several days later.

Nearly a year later, police have charged 41-year-old Michael Bright. Police said they found pieces of the van at the time of the crash and a few weeks later, tracked it to the owner, Bright's mother.

When investigators interviewed her, she told them on the night of the crash she went to leave for work, but her van wouldn't start. She said she went back inside her home, and when she came back out, the van was gone, so she called 911 to report it stolen.

Police said the van was eventually found on Melrose Street in Swissvale, near her daughter's home. Police later obtained a search warrant for Michael Bright's phone, and were able to trace it on a path consistent with the van's travels, putting it at the same time and location of the crash.

fifth avenue hit and run
(Photo Credit: Ralph Iannotti/KDKA)

When they interviewed Bright, he told police he spent most of the day of the crash at his sister's home. He also told police he may have left his phone in the van, and didn't remember getting it after the van was recovered.

KDKA went to Bright's home in Homewood Monday morning to try to talk to him about the charges, but he didn't answer. However, his mom, who lives next door, came outside and told us her son would never use her car without asking, let alone, steal it.

Once police find Michael Bright, it will be up to the court decide.

Bright faces multiple charges, including accidents involving death or personal injury.

Stay with KDKA For Amy Wadas' full report at 4 p.m.

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