MIDDLESEX TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – One man was killed and two other people were injured in a multi-vehicle crash involving a tractor-trailer along Route 8 in Butler County Wednesday morning.

According to police, the crash happened around 8 a.m. on the southbound side of Route 8 near East Cruikshank Road in Middlesex Township.

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The northbound tractor trailer – which was carrying a load of coal – crossed into the southbound lanes, crashed into two cars and a pickup truck and went over an embankment.

“For an unknown reason, crossed over in the southbound lane, striking vehicles, then going over an embankment,” Middlesex Police Sgt. Randy Ruediger said.

The big rig struck a tiny Honda head-on. The Honda was totaled and the driver was killed.

The victim has been identified as 57-year-old Kristofer Schmidt of Butler. He was ejected from the car.

The impact caused a pickup truck and a Mercedes to collide. Both the driver of the tractor trailer and the pickup truck suffered what are described as significant injuries.

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(Photo Credit: Jeff Roupe/KDKA)

(Photo Credit: Jeff Roupe/KDKA)

The semi and its load of coal remained perched on an embankment.

It has taken hours to clear up the scene and haul away the wreckage. Eight hours after the crash, busy Route 8 near Cruikshank Road was still closed.

“Once we document all the evidence on the scene here, we’ll get that cleaned up, then we’re going to try to remove the tractor-trailer that’s down over the hill. It is loaded, so that’s going to tie us up a lot longer,” Sgt. Ruediger said.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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