PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Two people were killed when they were struck by a vehicle and then run over by a Port Authority bus near the University of Pittsburgh campus on the border of the city’s Oakland and Hill District sections Monday afternoon.
The accident happened around 2:30 p.m. near the intersection of Centre Avenue and Allequippa Street.
Investigators towed away the SUV involved in the collision several hours after the accident, and then the bus a while later.
The male victim, who was in a wheelchair, and the woman who was with him became trapped under the wheels of the bus, which they had both just exited.
The man’s wheelchair was left mangled in the aftermath.
Witnesses on the bus say the car turned off Centre Avenue towards Allequippa Street just as the man and woman got off the No. 83 bus. They were then hit by the SUV and thrown into the path of the bus.
According to witnesses, the man and woman had gotten on the bus at the VA Hospital, hoping to transfer to another bus.
“I was on the front of the bus, and the gentleman got off in a wheelchair, and he had the light, so he proceeded to cross. The black car went to turn the bend around the bus to come up the hill, and didn’t see him crossing,” said passenger Reggie Moorefield. “Before anybody could get her attention that he was crossing, she hit him, and the bus driver went to slam on his brakes, and he couldn’t go down the hill cause the light had changed, and when he went to slam on his brakes, the brakes didn’t slam on, and he hit the lady that was with the gentleman in the wheelchair and ran over the guy that was in the wheelchair.”
“Just that quick, the guy in the wheelchair must have pulled out in front of the guy in the car,” said bus passenger Vernon Meade. “The bus driver didn’t have a chance.”
Police say the driver of the SUV stopped and did not try to flee. They are determining whether charges should be filed.
“From the preliminary stages of the investigation, it appears as if there was a vehicle that was coming up the hill trying to make this left turn and somehow it encountered two pedestrians, one in a wheelchair, one walking,” said Public Safety spokesperson Sonya Toler.
Port Authority CEO Ellen McLean released this statement on the accident:
“Today’s accident is deeply troubling, and our deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of the two individuals involved in this tragedy. We, of course, are cooperating with the city police investigation.”
So far, the names of the victims have not been released.
Pittsburgh Police are investigating the accident.