Crash on Route 31: One serious after accident
Tow trucks and garbage trucks have been backing in and out of the driveway to TMA automotive for the past four or five years, but it wasn’t until Wednesday morning that a serious accident occurred.
One female operating a Ford Taurus stationwagon east on Route 31 in Ruffsdale was flown by STAT MedEvac to Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh when her car and a Waste Management garbage truck collided at approximately 8:15 a.m.
State police at Greensburg did not give her name, but did say that Carl Minnich of Leechburg was driving the garbage truck.
There were no passengers in the garbage truck, but a male passenger and a 4-year-old female passenger in the stationwagon were transported to Frick Hospital by Mutual Aid ambulance, according to Denny Taylor, assistant chief of East Huntingdon Township Volunteer Fire Department. He added that the 4-year-old seemed to be uninjured, but was taken to Frick as a precautionary measure.
Police have not released the names of the passengers, either.
Tony Jakicic, owner of TMA automotive, saw the accident happen.
“He (Minnich) was backing out of the driveway here and she (the stationwagon operator) said she didn’t see him,” said Jakicic, who added that the stationwagon operator was awake and responsive and that the degree of injury to her legs seemed to be the reason why she was flown by medical helicopter.
According to Taylor, the operator also stated that she did not see the truck because the sun was in her eyes.
“We back out of here all the time and it’s a little scary, but we usually worry about any traffic that might be coming up the hill (west) because of a little blind spot there,” said Jakicic, who added that if traffic is bad, they’ll stop it for the person who is backing up.
“But there was nothing coming either way,” said Jakicic.
Jim Burns, who lives along Route 31, did not see the accident, but did hear it and immediately called 911.
“I just heard a big crash,” said Burns. “Paramedics showed up just minutes after I called. The passenger asked me to call his mom and let her know what happened.”
“You expect something like this to happen on this road anymore,” Burns continued. “People fly along here and there are trucks backing up all the time.”
Mount Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the accident.