WASHINGTON (KDKA) – Overnight, the driver involved in a serious tractor trailer crash was killed in South Strabane Township, Washington County.
Officials say that the driver lost control on I-70 East, went over an embankment, crashed into a PennDOT pole, and went airborne, before landing near an underpass.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as 59-year old Phillip A. Keesling, a resident of Straughn, Indiana.
BREAKING— Driver of tractor trailer has died in a crash along I-79 at the underpass. Officials tell me he went airborne. Truck was hauling containers of polyurethane. @KDKA pic.twitter.com/K2nQS9nCgP
— Lindsay Ward (@LindsayWardTV) June 12, 2020
“The truck was hauling several totes of a resin-polyurethane substance,” said Ryan Frazee, Emergency Planner with the Washington County Department of Public Safety.
The substance was in large blue tanks that were carefully being pulled out of the trailer.
“And we had a large release of motor oil, diesel fuel and some of that polyurethane,” said Frazee. “We’re trying to protect the waterways and it did get into some storm drains, but we have the spill contained.”
The crash happened just after 1 a.m Friday.
The focus was on getting the driver out, but unfortunately he did not survive. For hours, crews remained on scene and had the heavily traveled road closed.
“There was a time where 70 eastbound was closed and the ramps to 79 southbound were closed.”
It is not clear what caused the crash.
Pennsylvania State Police are handling the investigation.