Family: Troubled accident victim had big heart
The family of the man who was found dead on a York City street last week want people to stop speculating about what happened.
Rumors have run rampant on social media that William Seitz had his throat cut or was dumped out of a car. That's not true, the York County Coroner's Office said — he was hit by a car in an incident the coroner's office ruled an accident.
And Seitz's family firmly believes that to be true.
"All the signs show he was hit by a car," said Tina Dellinger, Seitz stepdaughter, expressing frustration with the speculation. "Let it go."
Authorities say Seitz's body was found just before 6 p.m. Jan. 3 in the 600 block of North Pershing Avenue. The coroner's office said it appears he was hit by a car, that then left the scene.
Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to call York City Police at 846-1234 or 849-2219.
Issues: Seitz's family described him as a kind man who struggled with issues of alcohol abuse.
"He was a good guy when he wasn't drinking," said Dellinger, whose maiden name is Sleeger.
She said he'd drunkenly fallen and hit his head a few years ago, and since had been living with her in the 4300 block of the Susquehanna Trail North.
"After the accident I had him off the alcohol for three months," Dellinger said. But he went back to it, though he never drank at home.
There's nowhere around that area, really, to go drink, so Seitz, who loved to walk and ride the bus, would meander on down the 5 or so miles to York City, where he'd bounce from social club to social club, said Mearl Sleeger, Seitz's stepson. Dellinger and Sleeger said Seitz was a friendly guy who liked to strike up conversations with anybody who crossed his path.
"He was a unique little man," said Sleeger's wife, Denise.
Dogs: Seitz loved dogs. Dellinger said they have four Samoyeds, and the pooches may have been his favorite thing in the world. Sometimes when he'd been out at one of the many, many social clubs he was part of — "he loved those clubs," Sleeger said — he'd come back with a baggie of Tootsie Rolls or some other kind of goodie that would typically be meant for humans — anywhere but in Seitz's home.
"He’d get a ... marker and write across it “dog food,'" Dellinger said. The dogs loved it, and him.
Both Dellinger and Sleeger described him as a giving man, a nice guy who especially loved his eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Sleeger said no matter how hard a time Seitz was having around Christmas, he managed to scrape together enough money to put a little bit of cash in an envelope for each kid. He hadn't given them out this year, so Sleeger had kind of figured this year had been too rough on Seitz, and he just hadn't been able to pull the money together.
But then the police told him they'd found something kind of curious on his stepfather's body.
"He had a whole bunch of envelopes in his pocket," Sleeger said, each with some money in it. "He had a heart of gold, in his own way."
— Reach Sean Cotter at firstname.lastname@example.org.