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East Neighborhoods
East Briefs: 5/31/03

Saturday, May 31, 2003

HEMPFIELD: Victim's identity sought

Authorities are trying to determine the identity of a man struck and killed by a train.

The man was struck on the westbound tracks near Zellers Street at about 5:30 Thursday night. Police said he was lying on the tracks, and the train could not stop in time to avoid hitting him. He was described as white, and 25 to 30 years old.

State police are assisting the Westmoreland County coroner's office and the Norfolk Southern railroad police in the investigation.

ALTOONA: Bike race probed

State police have searched the home of a former director of a nationally known, Altoona-based bicycle race.

They were searching for files related to what a search warrant says may have been a decade of theft and fraud.

The race, this year renamed International Tour de 'Toona, is a week long, beginning this year on July 28. It carries a purse of more than $120,000 and last year drew riders from 31 countries.

In March, five months after Altoona resident Kirk Leidy quit the helm of Tour de 'Toona, state troopers searched his office, taking records tied to his photography business and a race promotion business he ran with cycling enthusiast and state Rep. Richard Geist, R-Altoona. The search became public last week, when Leidy's lawyer, Robert Donaldson, went to Blair County Common Pleas Court, petitioning to unseal the warrant.

District Attorney David Gorman wants the seal extended to mid-June. And with investigators staying mum, Donaldson said yesterday that he and Leidy are mystified about the case. Donaldson said his client says he is innocent but hopes that "if charges are coming, they come soon."

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