PENN HILLS (KDKA) – A woman was killed and a child was injured when a tow truck slammed into their car Saturday afternoon in Penn Hills.
The fatal, head-on crash happened around 1 p.m. in the 1000-block of Milltown Road.
The victim has been identified by authorities as 45-year-old Christine Beilstein.
“It was a big bang; it sounded like a gunshot almost, and I just looked over and it was just the car and the truck collided,” said Zachary Black, a witness. “It looked like he was coming up the road and she was coming down, but I’m not sure if that happened or not.”
A woman and her daughter who were behind the car that was hit were too shaken to go on camera, but say the tow truck driver was speeding down the hill and veered into their lane before slamming into the woman’s car.
“I was three car lengths behind her when I put on my brakes; it wasn’t enough force for either one of us to get hurt,” the woman said.
After hitting the car, the witnesses say the driver then got out of the tow truck and left the scene.
“I saw him walk around to the front, and I don’t know what he did,” the witness’s daughter said. “He disappeared after that.”
Police did catch up with him a short time later. Police identify him as 50-year-old Duane Woodson, of Point Breeze.
According to Allegheny County Police, Woodson is facing a list of charges including homicide by vehicle.
Beilstein was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. An autopsy will be performed Sunday to determine the cause of her death.
Her 9-year-old son was taken by medical helicopter to a local hospital, where he was last listed in critical condition.
Woodson was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital and was put under police guard there.
Police were on the scene of the crash for several hours Saturday afternoon. The road was shut down, but has since reopened to traffic.
The investigation continues.