AG: Man tried buying insurance at scene of crash

An Altoona man faces insurance fraud charges after he allegedly called to buy insurance from the scene of an accident that he was involved in.

The Pennsylvania State Attorney General’s Office contends Michael S. Traveny, 33, of 402 Sixth St., wrecked into the back of another driver at a red light at the intersection of Route 764 and Maple Hollow Road in Duncansville on Aug. 21.

Traveny is accused of then calling Safe Auto Insurance from the scene of the accident to buy insurance, then submitting a claim where Traveny lied about what time the accident occurred to make the insurance company believe he had bought insurance before he wrecked, according to investigators with the Attorney General’s insurance fraud section.

The accident occurred about 6:30 p.m., but in subsequent interviews with insurance representatives, both Traveny and the driver whose vehicle was damaged both said the accident happened about 7:30 p.m.

Investigators claim that after Traveny handed the other driver his insurance card, the driver noticed the policy had expired. Traveny then allegedly called Safe Auto at 6:44 p.m. and bought insurance without mentioning the wreck.

The other driver told investigators he thought Traveny was calling a family member and denied knowing he was calling to buy insurance, further explaining he thought the accident was between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. but was unsure as to the exact time and told that to Safe Auto when he filed his claim on Aug. 22, according to charges filed before Magisterial District Judge Paula Aigner.

Traveny filed a claim on the insurance the next day, Aug. 22, and claimed the accident was at 7:30 p.m.

Traveny also claimed the other driver was aware he was calling to buy insurance from the scene of the accident, something the other driver adamantly denied, investigators noted.

The cost of the claim was $3,902.40.

Traveny remains free on a unsecured $50,000 bond and faces felony and misdemeanor insurance fraud counts as well as felony theft by deception charges. A preliminary hearing is slated for March 17 in Hollidaysburg District Court.