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South Huntingdon man jailed in crash that took victim’s arm

September 23, 2018

A South Huntingdon man accused of speeding in a 2017 drunken-driving crash in which his passenger lost an arm was arrested Tuesday.

State police had been looking for Jamie Lee Converso, 35, for 10 days after charging him on Aug. 18, 2018, in connection with the crash that happened more than a year earlier -- July 3, 2017 -- on Fitz Henry Road in South Huntingdon.

Police said in court papers released Wednesday that Converso had cocaine in his system and his blood-alcohol content was .13 percent after the crash. The legal limit to drive in Pennsylvania is .08 percent.

He is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $100,000 bond.

The female victim told troopers that Converso drove her home from a party at 12:28 a.m. when he allegedly began speeding on a wet road, according to an affidavit. She repeatedly asked Converso to slow down or stop the Ford Taurus and eventually covered her face with her hands and began to pray, troopers said.

Converso swerved to miss a deer in the road and crashed. The victim was trapped in the wreckage and ultimately had to have her right arm amputated. Converso climbed out of the vehicle and was hospitalized, police said.

He is charged with aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence and related offenses. Converso did not have an attorney listed in online court records. A Sept. 24 preliminary hearing is set.

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