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Gilpin man killed changing tire on Route 28

| Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, 10:33 a.m.
Valley News Dispatch
State police work at the scene of a fatal accident in which Kevin Eshelman of Gilpin was changing his tire along northbound Route 28 at the Tarentum Exit when he was struck and killed by another vehicle early on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Valley News Dispatch
State police work at the scene of a fatal accident in which Kevin Eshelman of Gilpin was changing his tire along northbound Route 28 at the Tarentum Exit when he was struck and killed by another vehicle early on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Valley News Dispatch
Rush hour traffic backs up along southbound Route 28 while state police work at the scene of a fatal accident, bottom right, in which Kevin Eshelman of Gilpin was changing his tire when he was struck and killed by another vehicle early Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, along northbound Route 28 at the Tarentum exit. Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch

A Gilpin man died just before 4 a.m. Wednesday while trying to change a flat tire at the Tarentum exit of northbound Route 28.

State police and a deputy Allegheny County medical examiner said Kevin Eshelman, 24, of Lessing Road, died at the scene.

Police said Eshelman's friend, Chad Akins, 26, of Apollo, also was struck by the vehicle. He was in fair condition late Wednesday morning in Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh.

County 911 said the accident was reported at 3:49 a.m.

Trooper Ronald D. Kesten said Eshelman called Akins to help with the flat, and Akins parked his Jeep in front of Eshelman's car, along the berm, someone time before the accident.

Police said Eshelman and Akins were struck by an Audi driven by Thomas James Walters, 23, of Brackenridge.

The Audi hit the Jeep before coming to a stop on the northbound Tarentum exit (Exit 14).

Kesten said Walters was interviewed by police and left with a relative.

Kesten said an accident reconstruction will reveal how far into the lane the men were when hit, how fast Walters was driving, any roadway or other factors.

It's unclear when the review will be completed.

The accident closed Route 28 northbound between the Creighton (Exit 13) and Tarentum exits through the morning rush hour. The diverted traffic clogged the parallel Freeport Road until nearly 10 a.m.

Some lesser accidents were reported in Tarentum during rush hour.

About eight state troopers were assisted by police from Tarentum, Frazer, Harrison, Fawn, Brackenridge as well as firefighters from Tarentum and East Deer and Eureka emergency medical services.

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or cbiedka@tribweb.com.

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