JEFFERSON HILLS (KDKA) — The driver of a pickup truck was killed in a head-on collision with a Port Authority bus on Thursday afternoon along Route 51 in Jefferson Hills.
The crash was first reported around 4 p.m. in the 1300 block of Route 51 at Elliott Road, near the Econo Lodge motel.
Rt 51 traffic slow going in both directions in Jefferson Hills after pickup truck going in wrong direction was hit by PAT bus. pic.twitter.com/bHoCSCnW77
— Ralph Iannotti (@IannottiRalph) November 16, 2017
Rush hour traffic in both directions was slowed down to a crawl for several hours as police reconstructed the collision.
Lt. Jason Haberman, with the Port Authority Police, said, “It appears that the private vehicle was traveling northbound in the southbound lane and then hit the Port Authority bus. He was the sole occupant of the truck who was transported to Jefferson Hospital and died from his injuries.”
It’s not known if speed was a factor, if the truck driver suffered a medical condition, or why he was going the wrong way at the time of the crash.
There’s a small, elevated concrete barrier separating the north and southbound lanes.
The operator was the only person on the bus at the time of the crash. He was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital, with what were described as non-life threatening injuries.
A woman who works at an Econo Lodge across the street from the wreck didn’t want to be identified. She rushed over to see if she could help, and she wasn’t alone.
She told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti, “A chaplain stopped his car in the dead middle of the road and he came over to help me. We said a prayer for the man in the truck, and then we said a prayer for the driver who was in the bus. He was conscious.”
There appeared to be no issues with the bus. However, investigators are now routinely reviewing bus surveillance video and checking for possible mechanical issues.