PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The driver of a dump truck that crashed into a Port Authority bus in Whitaker Friday morning has been cited in connection with that accident which sent 12 people to the hospital to be treated for injuries.
The inbound 61C McKeesport bus was at a stop along Route 837 between the back entrance to the Waterfront and the Rankin Bridge around 10:15 a.m. when a dump truck hit the bus from behind.
The truck was hauling asphalt.
Because there were about 20 passengers on board the bus, and at least 12 required hospital attention, first responders requested a heightened alert.
“From that perspective, having that many people on the bus, the first responders called for a mass casualty incident,” said Allegheny County Emergency Services Chief Alvin Henderson. “That put into effect our county plans to respond additional EMS units and an EMS command staff.”
Eventually, Port Authority Police cited the truck driver, William Lewis of Mendlowitz Trucking of Glassport, with driving with an expired registration, careless driving and following the bus too closely.
At the scene, a staging area was set up near the Rankin Bridge and traffic was restricted so that emergency responders could tend to those injured.
There were 12 injuries in all. The victims were sent to Mercy, McKeesport and Jefferson hospitals.
“We considered them what we call green patients,” said Baldwin EMS Chief Todd Plunkett. “We categorize every patient into four categories; green means the lowest and most minor patient. All of them were green except for one and that was yellow and that was because the person was a little bit dizzy and we did transport them to a local hospital to be evaluated but no critical patients.”
Emergency officials say this could have been a lot worse, but they’re just glad that none of the injuries was life-threatening.