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4 injured in ambulance-pickup truck crash near Allegheny Valley Hospital

| Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 12:16 a.m.

Four people were hurt in a two-vehicle crash involving an ambulance Monday evening near Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison.

Freeport Road was closed in both directions for about half an hour after the crash, which occurred shortly before 7 p.m.

According to Harrison police Officer Chris Cottone, a New Kensington ambulance was traveling north on Freeport Road and attempting to turn left onto Alabama Avenue on its way to AVH.

The ambulance contained a driver, a medic in the back and a patient. Its emergency lights were not on, according to Cottone and Tom Shank, a supervisor at New Kensington Fire Department Ambulance Service.

Cottone said the ambulance had a green light, but not a green arrow to make the left turn.

The officer said the ambulance turned into the path of a GMC Sierra pickup heading south on Freeport Road toward Tarentum.

The pickup hit the front end of the ambulance, causing both vehicles to go onto the sidewalk and hit a pole supporting the traffic lights.

The driver of the pickup, who Cottone would not identify, was trapped in his vehicle and had to be removed.

He was in and out of consciousness and was taken to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh with injuries Cottone described as moderate to major.

Shank would not identify the ambulance driver or the medic. He said they were treated and released from AVH.

The patient in the ambulance was taken to AVH. Shank could not comment on the patient's condition.

Shank said he believes the ambulance, a 2002 Ford and one of three the department has, is totaled. A replacement could cost about $180,000, he said.

“We'll be hurting for a couple of days before we find out what's going on,” Shank said. “We're a very busy service.”

The pickup was also severely damaged and likely totaled, Cottone said.

No charges were filed, and the investigation of the crash was closed, Cottone said.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or brittmeyer@tribweb.com.

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