Five Hospitalized in Pa. Bus-Pickup Truck Crash


Five people were hospitalized after a pickup truck and a Port Authority bus collided late Monday afternoon on River Road (Route 837), not far from the Rankin Bridge.

The crash happened in Whitaker, near Mac's Towing & Auto Service.

Emergency responders used the Jaws of Life to free injured people from both vehicles, including the bus driver.

"They actually cut the roof off the pickup, and we had to cut the front of the bus off to get the driver out," said Whitaker Volunteer Fire Department Chief Lenny Hilligsberg.

Port Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie said the bus driver and two passengers on board were injured and taken to UPMC Presbyterian.

The driver and a passenger in the truck were also injured and taken to UPMC Mercy, Ritchie said.

Hilligsberg said the bus driver's foot was stuck underneath the steering column.

"The lady -- the bus driver -- was pinched in between the steering wheel and the seat real bad, and then the people in the truck were all bloody and they were pinched between the seat and the dash and there was a lot of smoke," said witness Clint McClaren.

The names and conditions of those involved in the crash were not immediately available.

"They were conscious. They were talking. I was surprised," said Hilligsberg.

Channel 4 Action News' Shannon Perrine reported that the drivers of the bus and truck were believed to have suffered the most severe injuries.

McClaren said he and his dad did their best to help the victims until emergency crews arrived.

"You know, tried to put a fire out. My dad grabbed a hose and called 911. I got battery cutters to cut the wire so it didn't catch on fire," said McClaren.

Ritchie said the truck crossed the center line.

The bus was running on the 61C McKeesport-Homestead route.

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