O’HARA TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – The commute on Route 28 was obstructed Tuesday morning after a rockslide caused an accident.
According to officials at the scene, a rock rolled down the hillside and struck the hood of a vehicle traveling south.
The driver of the vehicle hit the brakes and jumped out of the passenger’s side of the vehicle. He was afraid of being hit by another vehicle.
“I didn’t hear the boulder, but I saw it. It was huge. It was big. I ran right into it. My car stopped right about up there and started rolling back,” Jesse Hess said.
His vehicle continued to roll into oncoming traffic on the northbound side of the road. One driver was unable to avoid the abandoned car.
“It was pretty scary. Just backing out in front of me. I didn’t know what was going on,” Daniel Thompson said.
The large boulder came to rest in the passing lane of Route 28 north.
“When our units arrived on scene, we had a 300 pound boulder blocking the fast lane of 28 north,” Aspinwall Fire Chief Gene Marscio said.
Traffic was reduced to one lane in both directions near the accident scene, but all lanes have since reopened. Southbound traffic was backed up to the Pittsburgh Mills Mall.
PennDOT Spokesman Jim Struzzi said work has been done in the past to catch any falling rocks along parts of Route 28. Unfortunately, this boulder was just too big to catch.
“Typically the rocks that fall there are not that large and they do end up in the drop area. This unfortunately was one that was large and gained momentum and got onto the roadway,” Struzzi said.