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Man dies after tree falls on car in Upper St. Clair

Man dies when tree falls onto car in Upper St. Clair 03:34

UPPER ST. CLAIR, Pa. (KDKA) -- A man is dead after a tree fell on top of cars during Tuesday's storms in Upper St. Clair.

A family of six walked away uninjured, but the 64-year-old Steve Stasenko was sent to the hospital in critical condition. He later died. 

His wife Vicki was in the passenger seat next to him. She walked away from the scene without a scratch. She said they were sitting at the light on McMurray Road in Upper St. Clair getting ready to turn on Bethel Church Road when a tree came down on top of them.  

"He was anxious to get home and said we should've turned around sooner," Vicki said.

She said they were going to dinner but decided to turn around when severe storms started to roll through the area. 

"Next thing I know, the tree for some reason -- it was weather related -- somehow fell on the car and the angle, with him being so tall, he's 6-foot-5, it hit the driver's side different than my side," said Vicki.

 Vicki says her husband was rushed to the hospital but doctors couldn't save him.

"Physically, he was pretty good, just the brain expanding and blood in the brain cavity," she said. 

The man whose family walked away said he and his family were just sitting at the red light when the tree came down. The roof of his car was dented, but he said it was terrifying not knowing if the power lines would allow them to get out safely.

Employees at the nearby Sunoco said the damage could've been worse if the tree didn't hit their awning first. They believe it could've been a light strike that cut the tree down in an instant.

"I've never experienced anything like this. The wind was so calm and it came out of nowhere. If it was worse and nobody was in here, it could've caused an explosion, but thank God it did not," said a Sunoco employee. 

Vicki says Steve was planning to retire from his job at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this summer. She says he worked in receiving and production and was the president of the Mailers Union Local 22 for a long time. She says they had big plans to travel, celebrate a 40-year wedding anniversary in October and welcome their first grandchild in the coming months.

"We were getting life started, really enjoying it. Hopefully I can continue in his honor," said Vicki.

Steve's best friend Lee McDonald says life won't be the same without the man who kept everyone smiling and laughing, and sharing stories of the past.

"We spent late evenings. I have a boat in Fox Chapel and we'd sit there and talk about boat stories because he was a boater himself. I'll miss that the most," said McDonald.

The Pittsburgh Post gazette's President and General Manager Tracey DeAngelo released this statement:

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our longtime employee, Stephen A. Stasenko Jr. Steve was a well-known presence at the Press and the Post-Gazette for almost 47 years. Our hearts go out to his family, his colleagues here at the Post-Gazette and all those who knew him. He will be missed and remembered fondly."

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