PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Police say a man was driving drunk on the Parkway West headed into the outbound side of the Fort Pitt Tunnel when he crashed into an ambulance.
Pennsylvania state police said Jacob Pamphyle, 27, was initially traveling on I-376 East. Police aren’t sure why he cut through the plaza area at the mouth of the Fort Pitt Tunnels and the accelerated into the outbound side around 2:20 a.m. Thursday.
“I believe he was inbound on 376, turned into the plaza area and then instead of making the turn to go outbound again he turned into the tunnel from the outbound side,” said Trooper Adam Dancho.
State police said it is unclear why Pamphyle stopped in the plaza area or how long he was there.
“He did rapidly accelerate but that was immediately stopped by the collision of the two vehicles,” said Trooper Dancho.
Police said Pamphyle was drunk when he drove into the wrong tunnel and crashed head-on into an ambulance.
“It was not carrying a patient at the time but had four ambulance personnel inside the vehicle,” said Trooper Dancho.
Nobody inside the ambulance was hurt, but it was badly damaged and had to be towed.
The ambulance belongs to Ambulance Service Inc., a private company based in Ohio.
Pamphyle was taken to Allegheny General Hospital to be treated for minor injuries from his car’s airbag and also to have his blood drawn for blood-alcohol testing.
“Spoke to him at the scene but he was very impaired and a lot of his statements were incoherent. He said that he had consumed alcoholic beverages,” said Trooper Dancho.
Police said Pamphyle should have never been behind the wheel, not only because he was intoxicated but also because he has a suspended Pennsylvania driver’s license.
Pamphyle was released from Allegheny General Hospital and is not in jail. State police are in the process of filing DUI charges by way of summons.