Crews, Residents Take Precautions After Icy Mess

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A Pittsburgh neighborhood received some extra attention by road crews today after an icy mess caused a scary scene during the Tuesday morning commute.

Residents on Fallowfield Avenue in Beechview watched as cars careened down their street, colliding with other vehicles along the way after freezing rain and sleet created frozen conditions during the overnight hours Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Many residents parked their vehicles at the top of the hill and others positioned their vehicles differently on the street Tuesday night over fears of another icy morning Wednesday.

Crews heavily salted the road, as well as others like it, during the overnight hours to try and prevent a repeat this morning.

On Tuesday, some of the people living along the street said it had not been salted Monday night or Tuesday morning.

However, Pittsburgh Public Works Director Rob Kaczorowski says that is not true and has paperwork showing where his trucks were.

“We had a truck up there salting the hills in Beechview. The foreman was up there salting the hills in Beechview during the ice storm, in particular bricks and blocks and cobblestone, which Fallowfield was,” said Kaczorowski. “I’m not going to call the guy up and ask him about what time he did it, but throughout the night we were servicing the Beechview area.”

Officials with Pittsburgh Public Works say crews spread five tons of salt from 10 p.m. Monday though Tuesday morning.

“As soon as it turns icy, that’s the first thing we do,” added Kaczorowski. “It started raining I guess about 10 o’clock, as soon as an icy condition comes about, as soon as it starts to get a little slick, the first thing you do are the bricks, block and cobblestone streets.”

Conditions on the Fallowfield Avenue were clear Wednesday morning.

MORE INFORMATION: Latest Weather Conditions | City Of Pittsburgh’s Winter Weather Emergency Resource Guide


One Comment

  1. Mary Ann Bonidie says:

    I lived in Beechview for 30 years. I think all of Beechview is a paper street according to the city. We lived on the corner of Rutherford and Hampshire and the only streets satlted there were the one that the people of Mt Lebanon used to get to Banksville Road. They took away the old salt boxes, never salted Hampshire Ave. from Rutherford back to Canton, But they knew where to send the tax bills in January. I am so glad I moved from the city andI feel sorry for the people left Beechview. BECAUSE NOTHING IS GOING TO CHANGE.

    1. Cookie says:

      Hey Mary Ann, speaking of “salt boxes” where have they gone ? I am now 61 years old and lived on Concordia Street in Carrick when it was red brick and there were salt boxes on every corner so that stuff like this could be taken care of immediatly by the residents. I guess everyone is to busy now video taping the mishaps instead of taking care of difficult situations.

      1. Paul says:

        They took the Salt Boxes away several years ago, People were using the salt for thier own front sidwalks.
        City decided not to waste money on them any longer.

  2. Thomas R. Skidmore says:

    I used to live on that street, so I definitely know what it’s like to see something like icy roads…although I do have to admit that this incident does take the cake.

  3. Bill says:

    Why would one moron after another attempt this icy hill ?

    1. Jay Silla says:

      Morons they may be, but it’s far more likely that they’re victims of normalcy bias. They drive that street every day, and somehow couldn’t accept that something was different that morning. It’s not unlike the people who drive into flood waters.

      I’ve been up and down Fallowfield a few times over the years, and I wouldn’t go NEAR that hill with ice or snow on the roads.

    2. leo zarazowski jr says:


      1. Beechview Girl says:

        I live in this area and have driven on this street. You can’t see the bottom of the hill from the crest. Once they would have gotten to where they could see what was happening, it was already too late and they were already sliding. The real problem is that, at the time this happened, most other frequently-used streets in the city had been salted long before. The streets that got them to this one were treated and relatively safe for seven hours or longer by this time. There would be no reason to think that in those seven hours, the city wouldn’t have found time to treat this one at least once–which I’m sure they didn’t, no matter what they say.

  4. jeffrey winowitch says:

    you think that if the news (media) were set up perfectly to watch this occur, they had to be aware of the problem….don’t warn anyone…..just get the camera set up so people can see dirty laundry!!!!!!it’s all about the ratings and not anyones saftey! shame shame

    1. JIm says:

      I thought the same thing, but now they say that there is a voice in the background that called 911. Still amazing. I do got to say that I did watch the video a few times. Still can’t believe nobody got killed, especially the driver of the car that sheared off what looks like a pine tree.

      1. Beechview Girl says:

        Actually I was pretty impressed with the guy who filmed it. He called 911 almost immediately and missed filming two of the actual impacts because he was more concerned with giving the details to the 911 operator. He was filming from two blocks away, so he couldn’t have stopped anyone from going down the hill. Seemed like a pretty good guy to me.

    2. Lou says:

      Way to go Jeff. Don’t go up and stop people just keep rolling the video to make sure you get { kdka } news ratings. I bet the reporter left will a smile on his face, what a jerk !

  5. Joe says:

    Of course Kaczorowski didn’t want to ask the truck driver what time he salted that road. Thet both were probably sleeping, or having donuts, and coffee.

  6. justin gilles says:

    I like how is says i got the paper work to prove we salted it… Like no over paid ciry worker ever filled out paper work saying yep we salted that street but where never even on it.

  7. fallowfield resident says:

    I live on fallowfield at Broadway. The city claiming they had salt trucks out that night or at all is a lie. They’ve been decent already this year with halting somewhat so that the bad days around here are manageable. However, that particular evening they’re was nothing. I drove home from work at 10:30 pm while it had already started raining and nothing was salted here. Then around midnight when I put trash out for pickup (which still hasn’t happened yet at 4pm weds) there still wasn’t anything. Why can’t the city just less up and admit they didn’t get to it in time, and just not let it happen again? Poor folks whose possessions and/or property that got damaged.

  8. Rachel says:

    I live right behind Fallowfield and the city probably did what they always do to my road…they come up half of it, turn onto another road, and don’t come back to finish the rest of it. I had to drive through Beechview 10 minutes after those accidents, the roads I was on weren’t very bad, we made it down hills to Banksville Road. If all of Fallowfield had been salted, those accidents wouldn’t have happened. Residents are saying it was not salted. The city needs to check into this and only will if they get enough complaints about it. That public works director is not telling the truth. I emailed the mayors office today. I’m requesting anyone else who lives in the area and has similar problems or feels strongly enough about what happened yesterday to do the same, or even call the 311 number. I’ve called that number twice this year to ask for a salt truck and complain about what’s been going on. The residents need to call or email bc the city will not do anything to help us if we don’t. There were children in one of those cars. And it’s true, with the crest of the hill, people probably couldn’t see how bad it was, obviously the other roads just before it were ok.

  9. elliot lincoln says:

    why would you email the mayors office, he was probably on his way home from a ski trip escorted by the salt truck that was supposed to salt that hill

  10. Mark says:

    Yeah! I’m going to believe a bunch of “hand-written” filled-in logs. I wonder if the Mr. Kaczorowski has ever heard of “fixing the paperwork”? It’s happened before, it’s going to happen again. The city continues to have this notion that its citizens will believe anything they say while the people present or the facts tell a different story.

  11. Sue says:

    I can’t beleive that anyone would have the guts to post this. The photographer should be prosecuted. How many cars did they to video careening down this hill to “get the story”? What was the lag time between each car coming down this hill. Would they have had time to go up the hill and post a sign, Dangerous road, do not use, or have the common decency to try to stop cars until the proper authorities could be contacted? How would you feel if someone would have been seriously injured let alone the amount of property and vehicle damage? Did you think to call the police and report this disaster waiting to happen? Would you have had just a good a story if not better with blood and guts all over the street? Great job KDKA for both you and your photographer. Nice to know you both are more interested in getting the scoop then you are about the safety of the citizens of the city.

  12. Carla says:

    i do not now nor ever did travel fallowfield street, but I’m not sure by the looks of the video that street had been previously treated with anything. While I do agree that we as residents of this fine city, we need to exercise common sense in situations such as this, I also think it almost impossible for a news station or anyone else as far as that goes to try to stop the cars from driving on this street until proper authorities were contacted. The city needs to step up and take responsibility, amen to that but so do the residents using POOR judgement…..amen to them taking responsibility for their actions also

  13. Darren says:

    It shouldn’t matter if it is treated or not. When the weather is bad, people need to slow down. People from Pa just do not know how to drive. I lived in Washington State for 2 years. They let the traffic run down the snow. Pa people would not last in Washington State. Get a grip and slow down people and drive the main roads.

  14. blair says:

    For all you stupid people that just wrecked learn how to drive in the snow and ice. Im sick and tired of going slow cause you cant drive.. I hope you all learned your lessons when its cold it is slippery out dont blame penn-dott for you stupidity move to flordia if you cant handle the snow.. Go pens/steelers hahahaha

    1. bubbab says:

      “penn-dott for you stupidity move to flordia” you need to learn to spell and speak.

  15. bubbab says:

    I live on a cobblestone hill and they never salted our street either. Like anyone should believe the handwritten logs. I’m sure the residents were keeping an eye out for salt trucks to come by. I believe the residents and not the city. Ever since Costa has been gone things have gotten worse. At 10 am there was a truck stuck on our hill and the neighbors had to come out and beat the cobblestones with chains and shovels. I have seen city trucks just sitting places “hiding” many times.

  16. OTIS says:

    Luke say’s evrything gonna a be alright.

  17. Mayor Stupidstal says:

    Hey nobody died this time cut us a break!

  18. John says:

    I left the city 15 years ago. And never looked back. Maybe that Idiot mayor Blunderstall should be out their salting, And earning his pay. Equip each employee with a gps that will keep them from hiding, The police that patrol that area could. notify of bad roads, Seam to be hiding to. Cut every city employees pay 25% and use that money to hire private company. Will be 110% better May god help you all in Blunderburgh

  19. Lynn says:

    I don’t get why anybody who is familiar with Fallowfield and the steepness of it…would EVEN try it on an icy day…salted or not salted. I am from Baldwin but am very familiar with Beechview and would never try Fallowfield or any other steep hill which was a side street on an icy day. Maybe some drivers needs to use their common sense. Salted roads do not necessarily mean it’s safe to drive on them.

  20. Michele says:

    For ANYONE!!!!! I don’t care what city or street you live on! If it is icy outside, don’t act like a big ass and try to take on mother nature then blame the city or boro or anyone BUT YOURSELF when you wreck yours and anyone elses vehicle because you were too stupid to wait for conditions to get better!!!!

  21. Sam says:

    If you are going to look out your window and realize the street hasn’t been salted or treated, why would you try to drive on it???? You are just TOO STUPID!!!!!

  22. Kaczorowski says:

    I bet the City salt truck driver was too scared to go down the hil himself.

    1. fallowfield victim says:

      You got it right there! fyi…the real god’s truth here…the salt truck came at 7:am,slid and hit a pt cruiser car then backed down the street and left.When Kaczorowski was confronted with this info after the fake log he showed on the news.he admitted the driver left and said he went to get “chains”.The driver NEVER went up the hill to treat it,NEVER called for a backup salt truck,NEVER called the poice to report the conditions,NEVER closed the road,NEVER came back until well after the accidents..Also crane avenue 2 streets over that ALLEGHENY COUNTY maintains was closed until treated so it’s anyone’s guess what the city’s problem was and is…….

  23. John says:

    Which blocks on Fallowfield was this happening?

    1. fallowfield victim says:

      this was the 1600 block,and we are not cobblestone!

  24. RPS says:

    I wonder if it ever occurred to the KDKA camera crew that morning how absolutely horrific it was for you to set up shop on the opposite hill and just stand there and witness the destruction? There was even the possibility of harm and or even death to the people involved! Thank god that there was some luck involved and there were no fatalities or injuries. You have to ask yourself, wouldn’t it in fact have made more sense to go up to top of the guilty hill and stop the traffic from approaching therefore preventing a lot of the damage? Unfortunately I don’t have to ask what you were thinking as I already know. You people obviously will do anything for a video story. I also wonder if it ever occurred to you in the media that there are people that tend to be private and don’t want exposure to their lives, their private property, and possessions on film for all to see particularly without giving any consent to you whatsoever? I am watching this whole event online from afar as I live out of the city but I do have family on that street and have to say that along with them we are tired of your careless disregard for letting them get on with their normal lives. The story is over, move on out of the neighborhood for goodness sake..

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