PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A tractor trailer careened over a hillside overnight creating some significant traffic delays along the Parkway East for the morning rush hour as well as a significant cleanup operation for crews.
The accident happened on the inbound side of the road just after 2 a.m. at the Edgewood-Swissvale ramp.
According to state police, the Mack Truck was traveling westbound when the driver missed a right curve in the road and lost control of the tractor trailer.
The front passenger side of the truck hit the north guide rail at the Edgewood Entrance ramp, then barreled through it and traveled about 45 feet down an embankment before stopping.
“I came off the… around the curb and my weight shifted and it threw me one way and then another way, and the next thing I know I’m down here,” said Charles Webb, the truck driver.
He said his first thought after the crash was to get out of the tractor trailer.
“I smelled diesel,” he said. “I didn’t know if I had a spark or not and I didn’t want to take a chance of it blowing up on me.”
A crane was brought in early this morning to upright the tractor trailer; however, due to the scale of the operation as well as safety precautions, crews decided to wait until daylight to pull the 16,000-pound tractor and 13,000-pound cab out of a 30-foot ravine.
“Their a little bit tough down there like that, a trailer over a hill,” said Bill Chester, of McGann and Chester Towing. “It’s a little bit tough cause you’ve got to lift the whole trailer up over or unload the load and lift it up over. So, we just opted to lift it all, pick it up over the wall.”
The accident ripped about 100 feet of guard rail out, and backed traffic up for miles and hours during the morning rush hour. The road has since fully reopened.
Webb, 57, of Ohio, suffered minor injuries and was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital for treatment. He said he bumped his head and was a little sore.
State police are investigating the cause the accident.