SLIPPERY ROCK TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A chain reaction crash, involving nine vehicles, shut down Route 422 in Lawrence County for much of Wednesday night and sent several people to the hospital.
Veteran investigators say it’s one of the worst crashes they’ve ever investigated.
The crash was first reported around 4:45 p.m. at the intersection of Routes 422 and 388 in Slippery Rock Township, near the Sheetz.
Officials at the scene say eight people were rushed to hospitals, three of them listed in critical condition.
Update! Police say they are amazed that no one was killed in an 8 vehicle crash in Slippery Rock Township. Good Samaritans rescued people trapped in wreckage. 16 people on a transit bus made it it safely. 8 injured. 3 critically. Watch live at 11 @KDKA pic.twitter.com/p6kHQncNPA
— Kymgabletv (@Kymgable) November 29, 2018
The crash sent vehicles airborne, two landing upside down on guardrails. A New Castle Area Transit bus, carrying 16 people, had shattered windows, and a semi-truck ended up in a wooded area from the impact. None of the people on the bus were seriously injured.
All that was left afterward was twisted wreckage that made the vehicles involved unrecognizable.
“Without a fatality involved, this is the worst crash I’ve ever investigated,” said Tpr. Matthew Woloszyn, of Pennsylvania State Police.
The dashboard camera from a car heading in the opposite direction on Route 422 captured the crash. It shows the tractor-trailer involved slamming into the rear of a gold-colored pickup truck.
Tpr. Woloszyn: “Yes, all the other vehicles were stopped in the roadway.”
KDKA’s Kym Gable: “No indication that the truck slowed down at all?”
Tpr. Woloszyn: “There was no indication of that.”
The tractor-trailer careened off the road, into a nearby lot, and into a wooded area.
KDKA’s Kym Gable has more:
Victims were trapped inside three of the vehicles on the road. Before first responders arrived, witnesses and Good Samaritans rushed to help the injured.
“The scene was just crazy and hectic. There were a lot of civilians here,” Tpr. Woloszyn said. “I had so much help. I actually only personally dealt with a lot of it… just dazed. There was just so much activity going on.”
Ambulances transported five people to Jameson Hospital, and medical helicopters flew three people to a Youngstown hospital. The driver of the semi was among those transported by ambulance. The driver of the pick-up truck was among those flown by medical helicopter.
The investigation just beginning as to the cause and why the big rig didn’t slow down.
Lisa Washing’s Report:
The road was shut down well past 11 p.m. as crews cleared the scene and continued the investigation.