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Student’s Mother Wants Trucking Company Held Responsible In West End Crash

By: Christine D'Antonio
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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was a horrific scene. Now, the mother of one of the children involved in Friday’s massive West End crash is speaking out.

The mother says her anger is aimed directly at the company that operates the tractor trailer involved in the crash. She says her teenage son was found halfway out of the window of his school bus.

Witnesses said it was like a scene out of a movie in Pittsburgh’s West End after a truck went speeding out of control down a congested road during rush hour.

One woman says she wants the trucking company that employed the driver to have higher standards so something like this doesn’t happen again.

Denise Koontz says she is furious after her son was involved in the crash in which an 18-wheeler plowed into numerous vehicles, including her son’s school bus.

The driver is a Cuban national who was driving for ABC Freight based out of Florida.

Witnesses say they saw his truck speeding out of control through the Greentree Road and Woodville Avenue intersection, slamming into anything in its way.

After the truck pushed through a home in the West End it finally came to rest, but not without damage to property and lives. Koontz says she knows her son Joey is lucky to be alive.

“If he wasn’t in the wheelchair, he would’ve been dead; and I would’ve lost him,” said Koontz. “And I’d probably be more angry than I already am.”

Joey was on his way to the Pioneer School in Brookline. The 17-year-old has Angelman Syndrome and is unable to talk. After the crash, he was taken to Children’s Hospital where doctors told his parents he would be all right.

Koontz says the company needs to be held responsible for the damage it’s done and enforce better hiring and training for drivers.

“I want that company down,” Koontz said. ”I want them down for what they did to him and what he did to everybody else.”

Two adults were seriously injured in Friday’s crash.

As of Saturday night, no charges had been filed against the driver.

Records for ABC Freight didn’t show any crashes in the past two years, but there were numerous violations for unsafe driving and vehicle maintenance.

RELATED LINKS:
Woman Saves Grandchildren After Tractor Trailer Crash (10/19/12)
More West End News

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