Autopsy gives no clues to cause of fatal crash

HERMITAGE — An autopsy did not give any indication why Philip Mendonca’s car drifted into another lane, causing a May 1 crash in which Mendonca was killed.

Mercer County Coroner J. Bradley McGonigle III said tests show Mendonca had no alcohol in his system at the time of the crash. The coroner’s determination that Mendonca died of internal injuries and the death was accidental remains unchanged, he said.

Mendonca, 26, of 150 Todd Ave., Hermitage, was westbound at 5:34 p.m. on Lake Road in Clark when his car drifted into the eastbound lane and hit one driven by Matthew Canady, 19, of 22 Leet Ave., Greenville, Hermitage police said.

Justin Neeson, 33, of 677 Sanchez Trail, Lake Latonka, was following Canady and could not stop in time, police said. His car also hit Mendonca’s, police said.

Canady and a passenger, Matthew Foust, 19, of 15 Wilbur St., Greenville, were taken to the hospital of Sharon Regional Health System. Police said they suffered major injuries. A hospital spokeswoman said she could not release information about them.

Mendonca was not wearing a seat belt, police said.

Officials open bids for road project in Patagonia

HERMITAGE — Hermitage city officials opened bids Wednesday for a project that would continue the series of street improvements in Patagonia.

Two companies submitted bids to repave Grove, West Walnut, East and Emmett streets, do a small amount of storm water improvement work and reconstruct a section of East to get rid of a sag in the road.

Diorio Paving Inc., Girard, Ohio, submitted the apparent low bid for each of the three parts of the project that will be awarded in individual contracts — $69,299 for Grove and West Walnut, $45,696 for East and $28,635 for Emmett.

Sharon Paving and Construction Co. Inc., Sharpsville, submitted bids of $84,923, $59,326 and $51,705.

The bids also included multiple contract discounts.

The city set aside money in a Community Development Block Grant for the project. Patagonia qualifies for a CDBG because it is its own Census tract and meets federal guidelines for low- and moderate-income households.

Police chief warnsresidents of scam

SOUTH PYMATUNING TOWNSHIP — A man has been running a scam in South Pymatuning Township in which he approaches residents and asks for money or gas because he is in an emergency, said police Chief John Kelly.

The man, described as a white male in his mid-40s with dark brown hair and a light brown beard, is driving a large white car with an Ohio license plate, Kelly said.

On Sunday and Monday, the man approached residents and told them he had to get a woman to the hospital in Greenville and left the house without money. One victim gave the man $5; another gave him gas, Kelly said.

Kelly warned that this is a scam and if the man approaches residents, they should call police.

City chasing state grant to beef up street security

FARRELL — Since winter, some Farrell residents have complained about problems with youth violating the city’s curfew and running amok in the streets.

Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Chief Riley Smoot said city officials are answering those complaints by applying for a state grant that will use the city’s distressed status under state Act 47 to its advantage.

Smoot met with Mike Weir, the city’s state-appointed Act 47 adviser, to talk about the curfew and vandalism issues plaguing some areas of the city. The put together a packet for the state Governor’s Center for Local Government Services to review before they file an official application with the state.

The city hopes to acquire more than $90,000 to beef up foot and bike patrols, set up block watches and train officers how to better deal with the problem.

The cash will also be used to address similar problems that exist — albeit on a smaller scale — in Shenango Township, West Middlesex and Wheatland, Smoot said.

Because Farrell is in the Act 47 program it is given preference in seeking state grants.