Victim's Mother Wants To Know Why Road Was Not Closed For Several Hours After Water Main Break

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MOUNT WASHINGTON (KDKA) – A woman was injured in a rollover crash along an icy Mount Washington road Friday morning.

Woodruff Street is currently closed because of ice, which was caused by a water main break hours before the crash.

Marlene Masucci says her daughter, Kellee, was driving down Woodruff Street when she careened off the road and flipped her car several times. She said she had to kick open her car door to free herself.

Masucci injured her shoulder and will undergo surgery at UPMC Mercy Hospital. The woman’s mother tells KDKA-TV that her daughter would have never crashed if the road had been closed when conditions deteriorated due to the water main break.

On Friday, crews worked on the street with saw horses blocking the entrance at each end. Water continued to run down the hill with driveways and portions of the street covered in thick ice.

Masucci says she called police, 311 and also tried to get in touch with city officials to ask why no one closed the road earlier.

We took her question to Dan Gilman, Mayor Bill Peduto’s Chief of Staff. He told us he’s not yet been made aware of this specific water main break or crash, but said PWSA often asks the city to step in for help following serious breaks.

“Generally, PWSA is the one to go out and analyze and let us know. They of course know—and we actually had a meeting about this last week—that they of course can call us and we will immediately come in and we can throw salt down, we can barricade, we can do whatever,” Gilman said.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority issued a statement Friday afternoon saying,

“Our prayers are with the individual involved in the car accident this morning near a water main break on Woodruff Avenue in Mount Washington. PWSA takes this issue extremely seriously and is investigating its response to the break. When repairing a water main in cold weather, PWSA coordinates with City agencies on an ongoing basis to minimize road hazards that may be caused by icy conditions.”

We also asked PWSA’s communications manager Will Pickering exactly when someone alerted PWSA of the break and how much time passed between that notification and the closure of the road. We have yet to receive a response to that inquiry.