A Green Tree man was killed early yesterday morning in a two-vehicle accident on I-279 northbound in a crash that involved a Three Rivers Arts Festival vendor from Maryland who was traveling in the wrong direction, state police said.
State police Trooper Robin Mungo said the out-of-town driver appears to have lost his way trying to get into Downtown. That was his destination after having left Crownsville, Md., about five hours earlier.
The driver, Yandon Wang, 55, missed his exit from the Parkway East into Downtown and continued to the North Side.
He found his way back toward Downtown, but missed his exit a second time and found himself again on the North Side, Trooper Mungo said.
While trying to find his way back across the river, Mr. Wang mistakenly entered an off-ramp from the northbound lanes of Interstate 279. He drove onto the highway while traveling in the wrong direction beneath the ramp leading from Route 28 to the Veterans Bridge on the North Shore.
At the same time, a car driven by Kenneth A. Blobner, 55, of Green Tree, was headed north on I-279. His car collided with the southbound van driven by Mr. Wang, police said. The northbound lanes of I-279 were closed for about four hours until the wreckage was cleared.
Mr. Blobner was killed instantly, police said, and Mr. Wang suffered moderate injuries.
His van was loaded with art objects that were to be exhibited at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, police said.
Though both men were using seat belts, Mr. Blobner's air bags did not deploy, police said.
State police are continuing the investigation to determine whether charges should be filed.