Driver says pickup's brakes failed, causing crash into DQ

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A pickup truck driver told Penn Hills police his brakes were not functioning properly Thursday, causing him to veer off Verona Road and slam into a Dairy Queen.

Police continue to investigate the incident, which injured six people, Lt. Joseph Snyder said Friday.

Lt. Snyder said the driver is not the owner of the truck, so if police conclude that the brakes were not in working order, the owner, not the driver, could be charged for not performing adequate maintenance on the vehicle.

Lt. Snyder added that the inspection stickers on the truck expired at the end of April.

On Friday, panels of wood covered the huge hole the truck bored into the building about 2:40 p.m. Thursday. The truck went completely into the restaurant; sticking out of the hole was an attached trailer with landscaping equipment.

Carolyn Fuchs, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Dan Fuchs, was inside the building with employee Sherelle Berry, 19, when the truck crashed into it. They and the four men in the truck were taken to hospitals.

Their conditions have not been released, but no one was in critical condition, according to Penn Hills emergency medical technician Diane Fitzhenry.

The Fuchs could not be reached for comment Friday.

Yuri Limenko of Penn Hills recently purchased the building across the street from the DQ and hopes to use it as an auto body repair shop.

After 4 p.m. in the summer, cars fill the DQ parking lot. Sometimes people have to park across the street because it’s so busy, he said.

“It’s a nice spot,” said Madeline McCaskill, owner of Ms. M’s Happy Tots, a day care across the street. “My staff goes over there and buys ice cream for the kids. I was really upset about it.”

Annie Oden, a teacher at Banks Learning Center Daycare, which is just up the street from the DQ, also was upset about the accident.

“Me and the kids always go down there for ice cream,” she said. “What if we had been there? I’m happy we weren’t but also sad because that was our snack attack.”

Max Radwin: mradwin@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1280.


Max Radwin: mradwin@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1280.

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