The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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July 11, 2013

4 injured in downtown rollover accident

JOHNSTOWN — Four people were injured Thursday evening in a rollover accident at the corner of Market and Vine streets in downtown Johnstown. The crash, witnessed by nearby residents and pedestrians, entrapped one person.

According to witnesses who were interviewed by police, a silver Hyundai Accent was traveling along Market Street toward the intersection at Main Street when it ran the red light at the Vine Street intersection. Witnesses said the Accent did not seem to be traveling at a high rate of speed.

The Accent struck a dark gray Toyota Highlander that was passing the intersection from Vine Street toward the Holiday Inn, causing it to flip on its side and strike the corner utility pole. Mark Kinsey of Johnstown, who was in a nearby barbershop, said the driver of the silver car leapt out to check on those in the other car.

“All you heard was a loud ‘bang’,” he said. “I was scared to death.”

Sgt. Mike Plunkard of Johnstown Police said the Accent held only person, the driver, while the Highlander held three family members - one of whom, a woman, was reported as being trapped between the window and the car.

Plunkard said the injuries of the four involved were unconfirmed, but are believed to be moderate to severe. The entrapped woman was alert, however, when extricated from the vehicle. Plunkard said according to his assessment, the entrapped woman seemed to be the least injured.

Emergency crews needed to use the jaws of life to shear almost the entire roof off of the Highlander before the woman could be removed. All four were taken by ambulance to Memorial Medical Center.

Allen Hinton, whose daughter was a passenger in the gray Highlander and who arrived on scene shortly after the accident occurred, said he would be en route to the hospital.

“I heard it come across the scanner and (Kinsey) called me and told me it was my daughter,” he said. “I’m still shaking. ... It’s a bad feeling. Real bad. But it’s something I’ve got to deal with.”

Crews from Cover Hill, 7th Ward and West End reported to the scene and accident reconstructionist Rick Pollino was called to the scene to provide authorities with more details.

More details will be provided as they become available.

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