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Wednesday night crash claims Buffalo Township man

| Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, 11:27 a.m.
Karl D. Thompson, 26, of Sarver, passed away Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at UPMC Presbyterian, as the result of an automobile accident.

A Buffalo Township man died early Thursday morning from injuries he suffered when a tractor-trailer rig crashed into his vehicle on Ekastown Road at Howes Run and Fleming roads on Wednesday night.

Karl Thompson, 26, of Thompson Road, died about 1 a.m. at UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh, according to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office. The cause of death was blunt-force trauma to the head and trunk, the office said.

Buffalo Township police Officer Tim Derringer said it appears that Thompson pulled out from Howes Run Road in front of the tractor-trailer hauling steel on Ekastown Road. It was unclear whether Thompson was trying to continue straight onto Fleming Road or turn left when his 1990 Plymouth Acclaim was struck about 8:45 p.m. on the driver side.

The southbound truck was not speeding before the crash and driver Robert Johnson, 52, of Lower Burrell veered left, in an attempt to avoid hitting Thompson's car, according to Derringer. The trailer jack-knifed after making contact with the Plymouth. Johnson was not cited for any traffic violations nor does he face any criminal charges.

The crash closed Ekastown Road from Sarver to Singleton roads for about three hours, according to Derringer.

The roads were snow-covered at the time of the crash. Police weren't sure whether conditions contributed to the crash.

β€œI don't know if the Plymouth lost control and slid out into the intersection, or the driver just didn't see the truck,” Derringer said. β€œIt's tough to tell how it happened.”

Thompson was a native of Harrison. He worked on the family's farm and previously for Jackson Heating and Blazczak Salvage.

An obituary appears on page A4 today.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702.

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