A coal truck collided Tuesday morning with two SUVs on Route 422 in Pine Township, Indiana County, killing one person and injuring five.
The triaxial dump truck, carrying a load of coal, was traveling eastbound — slightly downhill — when an SUV traveling westbound crossed over the double yellow line and crashed into the truck head-on, killing the SUV’s driver, said state police Trooper John Matchik.
The coal truck continued traveling eastbound, crashing into a larger SUV and then out of the westbound lane, rolling onto its side and catching fire in the front yard of a house. The truck came to a stop about 15 feet in front of the house’s facade, several hundred feet from the initial point of collision.
After being hit by the coal truck, the driver of the second SUV rescued the truck driver from the fiery wreckage. Both were taken by ambulance to Conemaugh Hospital in Johnstown, Pa.
In addition to the driver, three passengers were in the first SUV and sustained major injuries. Two of them were airlifted by helicopter, and the third passenger was taken by ambulance to Conemaugh Hospital.
Three people were in the house where the truck wrecked, but none was hurt by the crash, though fire damaged the vinyl siding of the house, Trooper Matchik said.
The crash shut down a stretch of Route 422 between Red Mill Road and Route 403 in both directions starting about 7:40 a.m., according to Deborah Casadei, a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokeswoman.
Several local fire departments were on scene, as was an Indiana County Emergency Management hazmat team and a Salvation Army relief vehicle.
Crews worked to clear the scene of debris, diesel fuel and spilled coal, and the road reopened late Tuesday afternoon.
First Published August 19, 2014 1:00 PM