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Crash closes Route 422

| Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, 2:31 a.m.
Louis B. Ruediger
A line of traffic backs up along Route 422 near Seldom Seen Road used to detour vehicles following an early morning crash near Margret Road. Friday October 2, 2012 Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Louis B. Ruediger
Route 422 is closed while clean up is underway near Margret Road after a early morning crash. Friday October 2, 2012 Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times

PLUMCREEK — Both lanes of Route 422 were closed for about seven hours on Friday morning after a tractor trailer involved in a wreck leaked about 300 gallons of diesel fuel.

State police said a car driven by Lindsey Merlock, 18, of Kittanning, entered Route 422 from Cherry Run Road and crossed into the path of a 2012 Freightliner driven by James Klinger, 59, of Dalmatia (Northumberland County), traveling westward shortly after 4 a.m.

Police said Merlock apparently fell asleep at the wheel.

She survived the impact and was taken to ACMH Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The truck driver was not injured in the crash.

The truck overturned, causing the diesel fuel to spill onto the road, police said. Refrigerant was also spilled onto the road, county officials said. Officials said the truck was carrying a load of pierogies.

The spill and cleanup forced the closure of the highway.

McCutcheon Enterprise, of Allegheny Township was called for the cleanup,

Armstrong County's HAZMAT team was at the accident scene.

“The roadway was already very wet from rain,” said Armstrong County HAZMAT coordinator Vince Cappo. “Conditions were compounded by the fuel-water mixture.”

A PennDOT spokesperson said the road was closed from Route 210 to Margaret Road.

In addition, a utility pole was sheared off in the accident. Crews worked to replace the pole during the morning.

Traffic was detoured around the crash along Seldom Seen Road to Margaret Road.

“PennDOT set up a pretty good detour,” said Cappo.

Route 422 was reopened around 11 a.m.

Mitch Fryer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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