ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A United States Postal Service truck caught fire on the Parkway North early Monday morning, causing both northbound lanes to be closed for hours.
According to officials at the scene, the truck caught fire between exits 7 and 8 around 3:30 a.m.
That part of the Parkway North has since reopened, but not before causing some major backups during the morning commute
State police said the mail truck driver, 56-year-old Russell Hickenbottom, will likely face charges, although they have not specified what those charges will be.
“It appears as though the operator hit the guiderail and lost control of the vehicle and the cab of the vehicle did catch fire,” Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Robin Mungo said.
Emergency responders said Hickenbottom was taken to Allegheny General Hospital with minor injuries.
The fire burned clear to the floor of the cab and crews had to remove the wreckage piece by piece.
The accident closed both lanes of the Parkway North at the outbound Bellevue exit, bringing traffic to a stop.
“We didn’t have near as many delays had this been inbound,” Trooper Robin Mungo said.
A Postal Service spokesperson said the shipment of small parcels was bound for areas outside of Pittsburgh and they’re sorting through each package to see what can be delivered and what can’t.
No letter mail was on board and notification will be made to anyone whose package was damaged.
Fire crews said luckily, they stopped the fire from ravaging the trailer.
“I believe some got damaged. Most of it was saved, but there definitely was some damaged mail,” Quaill Volunteer Fire Department Deputy Chief Dave Willet said.
Any time there is a large accident, there are environmental concerns when fuel or oil leaks and there was a lot of diesel with this accident.
The crew that was called in to clean up said this was routine and that it did not appear to have caused any contamination.
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