Construction vehicle falls onto car in Apollo; driver not seriously hurt
A Clarion County man escaped serious injury Monday when a construction vehicle toppled onto the car he was driving near the Apollo Bridge.
Dustin Best, 26, of Redbank Township was released Monday afternoon from Forbes Hospital in Monroeville, where he was treated for minor injuries suffered in the incident near the Apollo Plaza in Apollo.
According to Apollo police, Best’s four-door Pontiac was totaled about 6:45 a.m. when a trailer carrying an excavator overturned on Route 66/Astronaut’s Way, sending the construction vehicle crashing onto the car’s front end.
Best was briefly trapped in the car, but managed to escape out of a window with the help of the tractor-trailer driver, who was not injured.
Astronaut’s Way was closed for about three hours from North Third Street to Route 56/First Street while crews worked to upright the trailer.
Officer Jarred Kier, who heads the Apollo Police Department, said the tractor trailer was able to drive away around 9:40 a.m. with the excavator intact. The excavator was properly secured, he said, and never slid from the trailer.
Kier said a flat tire likely caused the trailer to topple during a righthand turn from First Street onto Astronaut’s Way.
“It looked like a flat tire on the trailer dug into the ground and, when the truck kept rolling with all that force, gravity just took over,” Kier said. “Speed was not a factor. He was making the turn off of a red light.”
The tractor trailer and the excavator belong to Rural Valley Construction Inc. The driver was en route to a project site in Vandergrift from the company’s headquarters near Elderton when the trailer overturned, according to General Manager Dave Marshall.
“We’re all sick about it,” Marshall said. “It was just one of those unlucky things that could’ve happened to anyone. We’re just glad everyone is OK. From what I understand, the first thing our driver did was get out to help the guy in the car. He’s a straight-up guy.”
Per state law, the driver underwent a drug-and-alcohol test. The results are pending, but police say they have no reason to suspect drugs or alcohol played any part in the crash.
A water tanker belonging to natural gas company Allison Transmission also sustained some front-end damage from the toppling excavator. Marshall said Rural Valley officials have been in contact with their insurance adjuster.
Calls to Best’s residence on Monday were unsuccessful.
Kier said no charges or citations were issued against Rural Valley’s tractor-trailer driver. The investigation is ongoing.
Braden Ashe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4673 or [email protected].