PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — An out-of-control SUV ended up on the roof of a grocery store in the city’s Greenfield section Tuesday afternoon, prompting an evacuation over gas leak concerns.
Authorities say they believe the 41-year-old driver was going at least 60 miles an hour on Greenfield Avenue when he lost control, traveled through a yard and went airborne.
The Kia Sorrento slammed into a fence and brick wall before landing on the roof of the Giant Eagle store on 4250 Murray Avenue.
“I was sitting on the couch, and then I heard, ‘Boom!’ I thought my chimney fell,” said Ron Mountin, a Greenfield resident.
Mountin’s house is about 25 feet from the roof of the Giant Eagle.
“I looked out my bedroom window and I see a car on the roof,” he said. “I see a guy standing in the yard, saying, ‘Yeah, I’m all right.’”
“Police arrived, they asked him the basic information – are you okay, what’s your name, where’s your driver’s license. He couldn’t produce a driver’s license,” said Jeremy Runion, the tow truck driver.
Firefighters and EMTs arrived within minutes, and the store was evacuated immediately. Jane Tomasovich was working inside when she heard a loud noise.
“All of the sudden we got the thing over the intercom, ‘Everybody, stop what you’re doing, evacuate the store,’” she said.
The evacuation was for a good reason, firefighters learned that gasoline from the SUV was posing a danger to the building.
“They discovered that gasoline was leaking from the car, and worse than just leaking is that the roof membrane on the flat roof got torn and gasoline was also leaking into the store,” said Pittsburgh Fire Bureau Deputy Chief Michael Mullen.
Firefighters were ready in case a fire started. They used an oil dry substance to absorb the leaking gasoline.
Since the SUV went airborne, they could not tow the vehicle. Instead, they brought in some heavy-duty equipment.
“McGann and Chester’s here, they got this big wrecker that has a boom that can pick the car up like a crane and swing it off of the roof,” said Mullen.
Finally the SUV was hoisted into the air and removed. Crews had to ventilate the building and repair the roof.
Giant Eagle officials say there was no structural damage to the store, and the only area affected is a back room where their produce is prepared.
The Giant Eagle will reopen at 5 p.m. after being closed most of the afternoon due to the crash.
There’s no word yet on whether the driver will face any charges. Police did talk to him.