Speed is believed to have played a role in the death of a Cambria County motorcyclist late Friday in Gallitzin Township.
The victim was identified as William Schwieters, 56, of Ice Plant Road, Loretto, who was killed when a pickup truck crossed the center line and struck his motorcycle shortly before 9:30 p.m.
Authorities on Saturday described the crash as an unbelievable scene after the truck burst into flames.
“It was a horrific accident when a fire erupted in the pick-up, then catching fire to the motorcycle along with the victim,” Cambria County Chief Deputy Coroner Jeffrey Lees said.
State police at Ebensburg identified the driver of the 2006 Dodge Ram pickup truck as Edward Roudybush, 27, of Kid Long Road, Gallitzin.
Schwieters, who was wearing a helmet, was killed on impact and pronounced dead at the scene by Lees at 11:07 p.m.
Following an autopsy Saturday at Memorial Medical Center, Lees ruled the cause of death as multiple blunt force injuries.
Roudybush was transported to UPMC Altoona for what were believed to be non-life-threatening injuries.
State police said Roudybush was traveling south on Route 53 at a high rate of speed when he failed to negotiate a right- hand curve in the roadway.
His southbound truck crossed the center line, and went into Schwieters’ path.
The motorcycle, a 2002 Honda, was hit by the front- center bumper and grill of the truck, state police said.
The truck went through guide rails and left the roadway on the eastern side. It went down an embankment and overturned several times before coming to rest.
After impact, the motorcycle came to rest on the eastern side of Route 53 under the guide rail.
State police are continuing their investigation of the crash and have called in an accident reconstructionist, Lees said.
The crash scene was described as between Spinley City and Taddy Road.
A few hours later and a few miles east of the fatal crash, two all-terrain vehicles collided in Reade Township.
Few details were available Saturday, but The Tribune-Democrat learned that the two off-road vehicles crashed into one another at 11:07 p.m. in the 300 block of Reade Street.
Two people were injured. One was transported to an area hospital by medical helicopter and the other taken by ambulance, according the Cambria County 911 dispatch center.
Kathy Mellott is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter @kathymellotttd.