Tractor-Trailer Crashes Into I-79 Overpass, Driver Killed

FRANKLIN PARK (KDKA) — A fatal crash involving a tractor-trailer on Interstate 79 forced emergency crews to close part of Rochester Road for several hours Friday morning.

The truck was traveling northbound early Friday morning when it veered off I-79 and crashed into part of the concrete support structure for the overpass. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.

He has been identified as Gregory Baker, 46, of Monroeville.

Northbound traffic was reduced to a single lane. While state police worked on the interstate, PennDOT crews were inspecting the overpass to make sure there wasn’t any damage to the heavily-traveled bridge.

Photo Credit: Suzan Etter

Photo Credit: Suzan Etter

One person who lives along Rochester Road said the sound of the crash was loud enough to awaken her from her sleep.

“I was sound asleep. It was probably one o’clock in the morning. And all of a sudden, it was a horribly loud noise, it pretty much shook my house and looked out the windows and I didn’t see anything. And a few minutes later, all the fire trucks were going by,” Suzan Etter said.

Etter said had there been damage to the bridge, it would have been a traffic nightmare.

“This is very heavily traveled, because one of the other roads is also closed,” Etter said.

The scene on the interstate cleared just before 6 a.m. and Rochester Road opened just before 4 a.m.

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