The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

November 18, 2013

1 person dies in Route 30 crash

David Hurst

QUEMAHONING TOWNSHIP — One person was killed Monday in a three vehicle accident on Route 30 – a collision that scattered coal and other debris across the highway and closed it for more than seven hours, responders said.

The accident apparently occurred after a coal truck and box truck collided on Route 30 in Quemahoning Township near the Skunk Hollow Road intersection, injuring several people, Stoystown Volunteer fire Chief David Johnson said.

A pickup truck also was involved, he said.

“We arrived to find a loaded coal truck on its side, on fire, and there was almost nothing left of the box truck,” Johnson said, adding that two people had to be extricated from what remained of the cab.

One of them, a passenger, James Harris Jr., 29, of New Alexandria, was dead at the scene, state police said.

The box truck’s driver was “severely injured” and taken to Memorial Medical Center’s trauma center for treatment, Johnson said.

The coal truck driver was able to exit his vehicle but received severe injuries and burns from the fire and had to be flown from the scene to a Pittsburgh hospital, he said.

State police were investigating the crash Monday.

The crash scene itself was “a mess” well into the evening, Johnson said.

The coal truck’s load spilled onto Route 30 and pieces of debris from the box truck, which was carrying furniture, littered the roadway, he said.

Fire crews detoured motorists away from the crash scene so cleanup work could continue. It meant closing about a mile of the highway, from about about a half-mile east of the routes 30 and 219 interchange to just outside Stoystown.

The detour remained in place as of 9:30 p.m., state police said.

David Hurst is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter. com/tddavidhurst.