DA: No charges against snow plow driver in deadly pedestrian accident in downtown Reading

Pedestrian was crossing Penn Street while facing 'don't walk' signal, DA says

DA concludes investigation of deadly snow plow accident

READING, Pa. - The driver of a Reading snow plow has been cleared of any wrongdoing in a deadly pedestrian accident in center city last month, Berks County District Attorney John Adams announced Tuesday.

Gilbert Birdsey was crossing Penn Street in the area of 6th Street when he was struck around 11:20 a.m. on March 3, officials said.

Birdsey, 71, was rushed to the hospital, where he died of his injuries a short time later.

The investigation conducted by the district attorney's accident reconstruction team and city police revealed that Birdsey was crossing Penn Street while facing a steady "don't walk" signal, said Adams, adding that the plow driver did not commit any motor vehicle violations.

"This was a tragic accident and it did not warrant any criminal charges," Adams said. "The snow plow operator did not violate the motor vehicle code. He was not going over the speed limit, and he was not under the influence."

The accident happened four blocks from Birdsey's home. Officials said they hope his death serves as a lesson for other pedestrians who chose to ignore the "don't walk" signals.

"For the safety of everyone, they should not be crossing the crosswalk when it says 'do not walk,'" said Adams.

City officials declined to release the plow driver's name.

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Allentown, PA 18102





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