Fawn girl struck by truck in Harrison
HARRISON: A 14-year-old Fawn girl was in critical condition Wednesday night after she was hit by a tri-axle dump truck on Freeport Road.
Erica Maloney was with her younger sister and a friend when she ran into heavy traffic on the four-lane road in front of Highlands Middle School around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to several witnesses.
The three children, who police said might have been leaving a junior varsity football game at the nearby stadium on Argonne Drive, crossed Broadview Boulevard and walked into the grassy strip along Freeport Road, according to Samuel Mitchell. Mitchell was sitting in his car at Argonne Drive, waiting to turn onto Freeport Road as the kids went past.
“The two kids stopped and tried to grab her, but she just kept going,” Mitchell said.
He said a car in the curb lane narrowly avoided hitting Maloney, but the large dump truck in the passing lane was unable to avoid her.
“He had no control over it,” Mitchell’s passenger, Annette Erich, said of the truck driver, who police have not named. “There was nothing he could have done to stop.”
Mitchell saw Maloney thrown onto the hood of the truck before she slid off about 90 feet down the road. Skid marks lined the road behind the truck, which was stopped a few hundred feet beyond the crash site near Grace United Methodist Church.
Police said Maloney was driven to nearby Allegheny Valley Hospital, then flown to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. An AGH hospital official said he was unable to release Maloney’s condition because she is a minor.
Harrison Police Chief Mike Klein said the girl was in critical condition Wednesday evening. Witnesses said Maloney appeared to have a serious arm wound, and police said she had multiple injuries.
Klein said township and county police still are investigating the accident, but don’t believe the driver was at fault.
“He’s agreed to submit to blood-alcohol testing, but there’s no indication he’d been under the influence,” Klein said.
Harrison Police Sgt. Kevin Gourley said he doesn’t think the truck driver was speeding in the 35 mph zone. Although the crash occurred within a 15 mph school zone, the warning signs were not activated late in the afternoon.
Gourley said witnesses reported the driver probably was travelling slower than the speed limit due to traffic.
The driver, who Gourley said was from New Castle, was visibly shaken as he talked to police for several hours Wednesday evening.
“It appears to be a tragic accident,” Klein said.
Several people who witnessed the accident stood around the busy intersection in shock. Fire police redirected cars down Argonne Drive and California Avenue, cordoning off a block of Freeport Road and Broadview Boulevard for several hours.
“I saw that little darling just lying there in the middle of the street,” said Aggie Aftanas, who was driving toward Brackenridge and passed Maloney immediately following the accident.
“Her poor shoes were scattered on the road, and I just started crying,” Aftanas said.
Police and witnesses said they don’t know why Maloney didn’t stop before running out into traffic, or where she was going. Gourley said he was unable to talk to her companions Wednesday evening because they were upset and sent to a hospital.
Maloney is a student at Highlands Middle School, according to a school yearbook.