Turnpike lanes finally clear six hours after truck fire
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission announced the westbound lanes were clear at 7:15 p.m., more than six hours after a tractor-trailer fire had backed up traffic.
Westbound traffic was at a standstill for nearly two hours after the truck was stopped about 12:40 p.m. along the shoulder near mile marker 53.8 in Plum, near the Saltsburg Road overpass between the Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley exits.
State police said a mechanical failure in the engine compartment of the Freightliner truck sparked the fire. The flames spread to the first of two covered trailers the truck was hauling, heavily damaging eight Mini Cooper cars inside.
The truck driver, Derwin Allen Freeman of Detroit, was not reported to be injured. A message left for the trucking company, Precision Motor Transport Group in Okemos, Mich., was not returned.
The commission reported one westbound lane reopened at 2:30 p.m. and both lanes were open by 5 p.m. Eastbound traffic was not directly impacted.
Plum and Monroeville firefighters responded, as did Allegheny Township-based McCutcheon Enterprises for assistance in cleaning up and containing any hazardous materials.
A police report did not indicate that any charges would be filed.
Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or email@example.com.
More Valley News Dispatch
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.