North Charleroi junior firefighter in critical condition after accident
A junior firefighter from North Charleroi is in critical condition after he sprinted into a moving vehicle while responding to fire call, according to state police.
Brandon Schwalb, 14, was taken via medical helicopter to Children's Hospital shortly after the 2:55 p.m. accident. A hospital spokeswoman said Schwalb is in critical condition.
Schwalb, a junior firefighter for Lock 4 Volunteer Fire Co., is the son of North Charleroi councilman Fred Schwalb, who is also first assistant chief for the fire department.
The accident occurred at the intersection of Lock Street and Lincoln Avenue (Route 88) at the Washington County entrance of the soon-to-be-completed John K. Tener Bridge, which links North Charleroi with Monessen.
According to Trooper Kevin Gabrovsek, Schwalb was running northbound on Lincoln Avenue toward the bridge when he dashed across the intersection and into the passenger side of a Jeep Compass driven by a 17-year old female. Police would not disclose the driver's name because she is a juvenile.
Based on multiple witnesses at the scene, Gabrovsek said Schwalb and the vehicle were traveling the same direction when a running Schwalb made a sharp right to run up Lock Street, Gabrovsek said.
“He ran right into her path of travel. Apparently, she didn't even know he was there until she saw and heard the collision,” he said. “All indicators he ran right in front of her and she had no time to react.”
Gabrovsek said there was no indication the driver was speeding. He was told Schwalb suffered an apparent broken leg and a possible hip fracture.
Lock 4 second assistant chief Mike Castner acknowledged that Schwalb was reacting to a minor fire call in neighboring Fallowfield Township and attempting to run up Lock Street to the fire station.
“He normally responds by foot when his family is at work. He had just gotten out of school,” Castner said. “We haven't even talked to the family.”
Charleroi Regional police initially responded but passed on the investigation to state police. Carroll Township police also responded for traffic control, as traffic was diverted for nearly four hours.
Show commenting policy
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 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.
- Cops nab 4 in Monessen drug hangout
- Belle Vernon Reality Tour offers close look at ‘nightmare’ of drug abuse
- CNG refueling site opens in Bentleyville
- Former Charleroi Area teacher who stole from union sentenced
- Assistant band director drums up support to save Monessen building
- Monessen agrees to sale of 2 buildings
- Brownsville native draws from life experience in series of books
- Ellsworth Marine veteran recalls Battle of Iwo Jima