MONROEVILLE (KDKA) – It was the ultimate team effort to save a man’s life on Saunders Station Road near Abers Creek Road in Monroeville early Friday afternoon.
The worker for the Suit-Kote company had the hydraulics hose malfunction on this asphalt paver.
The malfunction caused the 14-ton piece of machinery to lose its breaks at the top of a steep hill, and sent the worker airborne as he steered it out of the way of oncoming traffic.
The man fell into a small creek – face first – before the machine landed on top of him, crushing his legs and pinning him.
“We were able to establish a couple IVs and administer medication to him while he was trapped under the vehicle,” said Lt. Kevin Vacco, of the Monroeville Fire Department.
Monroeville firefighters, EMS and two surgeons from Forbes Regional Hospital rushed to the scene.
They stabilized the man before two tow trucks lifted the incredibly heavy asphalt paver up to free him.
“He was wedged underneath it, and working together with the firemen, we were able to lift it up off him. They very quickly put him on a board and slid him out from underneath of it,” said Mark Magill, who helped during the rescue.
It was a delicate operation.
“You had to be careful with the recovery, if something were to break or something were to go wrong and other firemen were going underneath to help pull him out,” said Magill. “The issue was the safety of everyone else around, as well as the man we were trying to save.”
The man, whose name hasn’t been released, was alert and able to speak when he was rushed to Forbes Regional.
He suffered a head injury and injuries to the lower half of his body, but is expected to survive.