JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — State police say the man critically injured when a car exploded in Fayette County has died.
The explosion happened Wednesday evening in Jefferson Township while 55-year-old Louis Usher Jr. was working on it.
According to Rostraver West Newton Emergency Services, it was a natural gas explosion.
According to State Police, the car literally detonated.
“The explosion did come from the vehicle, we’re not exactly sure what caused the explosion,” said State Police Trooper Robert Broadwater. “Mr. Usher’s vehicle exploded at some point while he was behind his residence. We do know that he was outside of the vehicle.”
Usher was taken by medical helicopter to Uniontown Hospital, but state police say he later died from his injuries.
The explosion was so massive, neighbors say they felt and heard it nearly four miles away.
“I was in the cellar and when I came upstairs to go outside, I heard this awful boom,” said Rosemarie Brown, Usher’s next-door neighbor. “It was just devastating, I mean, I don’t even know the right words to say. It was something I never saw before.”
Just the shell of the car remained after the explosion. Other pieces of the vehicle were scattered around the driveway.
“The explosion was so great and so severe there are vehicle parts and parts blown throughout the residence, a large debris field,” Trooper Broadwater added.
The investigation is ongoing, but there is a point of focus, according to the police.
“His vehicle did have a natural gas conversion kit on it,” Broadwater said.
According to investigators, had the truck been parked different, the explosion could have likely lit up the natural gas fueling point and taken out the entire neighborhood.