Update: Police say a man was driving the car before the accident.
A 22-year-old woman from Fayette County who had just hit a van head-on early Monday morning on Interstate 70 in Westmoreland County was killed instantly by a passing tractor-trailer after she got out of her car.
Siva Marie Stewart of Connellsville was driving the wrong way on Interstate 70 near the Smithton on-ramp in South Huntingdon at about 2:10 a.m. when she collided with an eastbound Honda Odyssey van driven by Hyung Ryul Mun, 47, of Lincolnwood, Ill., according to a news release from the Pennsylvania State Police. The crash happened in the right-hand lane but the vehicles came to rest in the left lane and at some point, Ms. Stewart got out of her Jeep.
Witnesses told police that a "new-looking" white tractor-trailer hit Ms. Stewart and clipped her car before speeding away. State police said it should have damage on the driver's side of the cab and are asking anyone who saw the collision or the tractor-trailer to call 724-929-6262.
Ms. Stewart was pronounced dead at the scene of multiple blunt-force injuries, the Westmoreland County coroner's office said. Toxicology results will not be available for "several weeks," the coroner's office said.
There was little information available on Mr. Mun's condition, which was not included in the police news release.
A county emergency dispatcher said Monday morning that he was injured and flown to a hospital by helicopter, though a trooper at the Belle Vernon station could not provide an update on Mr. Mun late Monday afternoon. KDKA reported that there were four other people in the van and all were taken to Pittsburgh hospitals. The station said that all five occupants of the van were expected to recover.
Robert Stewart, pastor of the Sure House of Jesus Christ on Breakneck Road in Connellsville and a cousin of Ms. Stewart, said family members are still trying to piece together what happened, including why Ms. Stewart was driving the wrong way on the interstate.
Ms. Stewart lost her father, Donald Stewart, several years ago to an illness, and her death has been devastating to her mother, Mr. Stewart said.
Ms. Stewart was born and raised in the area and was a graduate of Connellsville High School, her elder cousin said.
"She was uplifting. Everyone enjoyed being around her," he said. "She was pretty comical. ... She was just a fun girl."
Robert Zullo: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-3909 or on Twitter @rczullo. Molly Born: email@example.com, 412-263-1944 or on Twitter @borntolede. First Published March 31, 2014 7:04 AM