UPDATED: Pitt student charged after crashing into bookstore


An SUV and a sedan crashed on Fifth Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: J. Dale Shoemaker / Managing Editor

By Lauren Rosenblatt / News Editor

City police have charged a Pitt student with driving under the influence and causing personal injury, after he caused a car crash Saturday evening that sent three people to the hospital with minor injuries.

After a brief search on Saturday, police identified Nicholas Bozzo, a 22-year-old Pitt student, as the driver of an SUV that hit another car and the University Bookstore on Fifth Avenue.

At about 7:30 p.m., Bozzo crashed a black Chevrolet Suburban into a red Ford Fusion before striking the side of the bookstore and guardrail along the sidewalk, according to Sonya Toler, public information officer for Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Safety. After the crash, Bozzo fled on foot but later returned to the scene, she added.

Toler said on Sunday that Bozzo had been driving in the bus lane along Fifth Avenue toward Downtown immediately before the crash.


Police have filed seven charges against Bozzo, including two counts of driving under the influence and three counts of causing injury, according to court records. His preliminary hearing will be Oct. 5.

The second car involved in the crash, the Ford Fusion, was behind the Chevrolet after the wreck and had a dented front bumper as well as damage to the front left tire and driver’s side door. It was not immediately clear how the Fusion became involved in the crash. On Sunday, Toler did not offer any additional details.

Debris scattered along a sidewalk along Fifth Avenue after a two-car crash. Photo: Wenhao Wu / Staff Photographer
Debris scattered along a sidewalk along Fifth Avenue after a two-car crash. Photo: Wenhao Wu / Staff Photographer


The driver of the Fusion, also a Pitt student, was taken to UPMC Presbyterian along with two pedestrians who were injured by debris from the crash, paramedics said. One of the pedestrians had an isolated ankle injury while the other had bumps and bruises, according to Jeffrey Meyer, district chief for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. All of the injuries were minor, he said.

Three front windows of the bookstore were cracked and a railing outside the bookstore collapsed as a result of the crash. A light post also came down.

Police were called to the scene at about 7:30 p.m. and a tow truck arrived to remove the cars at about 8:15 p.m. On Fifth Avenue on Saturday, two lanes of traffic were slowed but not stopped between University Drive and Thackeray Avenue. Buses were diverted away from those blocks for a short period of time as well.

Both Pitt and city police responded to the crash, but city officers are investigating.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published Saturday, Sept. 24. It was updated Sunday, Sept. 25. 

Rachel Glasser, J. Dale Shoemaker and Emily Brindley contributed to this report. 

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