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One-vehicle crash slows turnpike traffic between Donegal and Somerset

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Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012, 1:00 p.m.

westmoreland county

donegal township

Crash closes turnpike

Traffic was stopped in both directions on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Saturday morning to allow a medical helicopter to land on the roadway after a single-vehicle crash around 10:30 a.m.

A passenger in the car, Gail Houle, 63, suffered major injuries and was flown from the scene by helicopter to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center in Johnstown, according to state police at Somerset.

The driver, Philip Houle, 67, suffered minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to Excela Health Frick Hospital in Mt. Pleasant.

Their hometowns and conditions were not available late Saturday afternoon.

The accident occurred at mile post 97.3, between the Somerset and Donegal interchanges, when westbound traffic stopped suddenly, state police said.

Philip Houle swerved to the right to avoid the stopped vehicles and hit an embankment. His car traveled 20 feet up the embankment and rolled over, throwing Gail Houle from the car, police said.

Both were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, police said.

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