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A fender bender turns deadly when one of the drivers shoots and kills the other.

David Hurley

The suspect was driving a car like this one


The Hurleys — Pam and David and their sons — shared a normal and happy life in Turtle Creek, PA, until June 13, 1992. David and his brother were going to take a Boy Scout troop on a canoe trip. Unable to sleep the night before, David decided to go get a donut then stop by his brother’s house. He left home at 1:30 AM.

Why did the man shoot David?

About an hour and a half later, Pam was surprised to hear her husband calling out from the first floor. According to Pam, he said he had been shot:

“I was stunned and thoroughly shocked. I just couldn’t comprehend that he had been shot. That was just too unbelievable.”

While they waited for paramedics to arrive, David told his wife about the random attack.
He said he stopped for doughnuts and was heading towards his brother’s house when, suddenly, a car appeared out of nowhere and they sideswiped each other. David thought he and the other driver would just exchange insurance information and that would be it.  Pam said David told her that the other driver punched him, then pulled out a gun and shot him:

“He said all he can remember is getting in the van and trying desperately to get home, to get away.”

Paramedics worked on David’s gunshot wounds

Police and paramedics arrived at around 3:30 AM, and David told his story again to Officer Michael Pruey of the Turtle Creek Borough Police:

“He was calm for a person that had just been shot. At that particular time, I was concerned with getting information that we could put on the air for the other units that were still out on the road.”

David was rushed by helicopter to a hospital in Pittsburgh, six miles away. At 4:30 AM, he was wheeled into emergency surgery. Two hours later doctors emerged from the operating room with news for Pam:

“And I remember we looked at the clock and it was 6:30 a.m. And I looked at my brother and I said this is great, they’re done already. It must have been a lot better than we expected because we expected 4-5 hours from what they told us.”

David had gunshot wounds in the arm and shoulder and he was bleeding internally from a lacerated liver. The operation had gone well, they told Pam, until David suddenly went into cardiac arrest.

“I said to him, you’ve got to be kidding. And he said, no, I’m not kidding, he’s dead.”

In searching for David’s killer, Detective Robert Lazzaro of the Allegheny County Police said they have very limited information to go on:

“We only have the description of a young, black male, driving a champagne colored Honda Prelude. And it’s good possibility that this individual is local.”

Pam Hurley:

“When someone you love dies, it’s very painful and that never goes away and I’m sure that never well.  But that pain is also turning to anger. To realize that there’s a person out there continuing with his life as if nothing happened, just makes me very angry.”

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season five with Robert Stack and in season four with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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  1. thinkingoutloud

    definitely more to this story. He told his wife he was going to get a donut at 1Am and then stop by his brother’s place even though they were going on a trip the next day? i think it was drug related or he was seeing a mistress. is there any proof of this car accident? is there any damage done to his car? did the police ever check out the location where this accident happened? can anyone at the donut shop confirm he was even there? seems like he had plans to take care of something and it backfired in which he got hurt. and why travel all the way back home to be taken to the hospital? why not go somewhere nearby and ask for help. a lot of missing info here.


  2. chanita jackson

    any updates on this case


  3. Wayne Hart

    I wasn’t thinking drugs. I was thinking he went to meet his girlfriend and her husband shot him.


  4. Beccaboo

    I really think there was more to this story. In my personal opinion I think it was drug related. If you can’t sleep then why go out and get donuts at that time of night?! Each to their own I guess but why not stay at home and drink warm milk etc etc. Who else is going to be out that late as well?! I suppose it could be extremely bad luck but I just can’t see that happening on the night you can’t sleep and drive out….


  5. Carmen Houssney

    I watched this story on Unsolved Mysteries many times. The young African American man who committed this crime has to be one of the stupidest people on the face of the planet. He was the one who hit David’s van first and then he gets out and murders him? This guy needs to be given the death penalty as soon as he is apprehended. One of the stupidest things is when someone is responsible for a wrongdoing and they refuse to be confronted about it. This guy is just a plain dumb, heartless, coward and I pray for justice to be provided for David’s family, especially his children who never got to grow up with their dad.


  6. My thoughts

    Whether or not drugs were involved doesn’t matter. No one has the right to take a life. Race shouldn’t even be brought into the mix, if the tables were turned would it have ever been mentioned? I pray for his family and for swift justice for him and his family.


  7. Tammy Thomas

    We’re there donuts in the victim’s car? Was his car damaged in a way that would confirm his story of being sideswiped?


  8. YT



  9. Caitie

    Someone knows who the killer is,I think someone would’ve noticed something, the whole thing just seems strange.


  10. Connie

    I am a psychic who has successfully worked with the police before. I was watching this show this Saturday A M. While I watched the man get out of the car before he shot David, my “immediate feeling” was that the man was a felon, who did not want the police called because he was afraid of going back to jail. Follow the lead of the car he was driving. Check for former felons who was driving that kind of car at that time.


  11. stevo

    Why wouldn’t you just go right to the emergancy room ? not making any sense.


  12. sam

    Wow you must be very ignorant george, but when police arrive at the scene of a near fatal shooting, the first thing they should do is check the victim, the fact that he had been shot but stable enough to tell them his version perhaps they believed his story, just because someones white doesnt mean theyre racist


  13. Curious George

    I don’t suppose the police were smart enough to verify damage to the victim’s vehicle or whether he stopped at the donut shop. I doubt a drug deal even crossed the mind of police investigators because when they heard the alleged perpetrator was a young black male they were anxious to hunt him down and violently violate his civil rights. Racist Pennsylvania Police!


  14. Tammy Thomas

    Thank you for your responses. That is what I thought of also. I mean if your going on a camping trip with kids the next day, why would you be out in the middle of the night?


  15. hmmm

    Drug deal gone bad????? Hmmmm


  16. Tammy Thomas

    I’ve always been suspicious about this story. Anyone else think there might be more to the story?


    • Kathy

      Yeah I’m a little suspicious as well. I was married to David in 1979, had a daughter with him. He wasn’t the saint he was made out to be.eWfie