Two women killed in separate accidents
Two women were killed in separate automobile accidents within hours of each other Thursday in Salem and Unity townships.
The Salem accident occurred about 4:30 p.m., several hundred yards past Gene and Boots Candies at the intersection of Route 22 and Scenic Drive.
State police identified the victim as Amanda Ciccarelli, 39, of Greensburg. Two others traveling in another car — Brandon W. Thiem, 25, of Derry, and Shaun M. Schantz, 23, of Pittsburgh — were taken to area hospitals.
Schantz was admitted in serious condition at Allegheny General. Thiem, who was initially taken to Excela Health Latrobe Hospital, was transferred to UPMC Presbyterian. A nursing supervisor said last night he was being treated in the hospital's emergency room and that his condition was unknown.
The Unity accident occurred just before 6:30 p.m. at the intersection of Route 130 and Pleasant Unity-Mutual Road. Killed in the crash was 25-year-old Janessa Fleming of Indiana, who was driving west on Route 130 when her car was struck on the driver's side by another vehicle, according to Westmoreland County Deputy Coroner Josh Zappone.
Zappone said a passenger in Fleming's vehicle was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital, and driver of the other car was taken to a local hospital. Police did not release additional information Thursday night.
In the Salem accident, state police said Ciccarelli, who was driving a 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse, was turning left from the westbound turning lane of Route 22 and traveled into the path of Thiem's 1997 Audi A4, which was traveling eastbound. Ciccarelli died at the scene. police said.
Police credited two passersby with pulling Thiem and Schantz from their car before it burst into flames.
Donna McCracken of Delmont, who was working at the Gene and Boots store at the time, said she heard the crash and looked out seconds after one car caught on fire.
“Flames were shooting into the sky,” McCracken said. She said she stood in the doorway and watched as rescuers tried to pull accident victims from the wreckage.
“A woman came running into the store and shouted, ‘I need a fire extinguisher,' ” McCracken said. She said the unidentified woman rushed to the scene with the extinguisher to attempt to help the victims.
Dr. Cyril H. Wecht and Pathology Associates of Pittsburgh will perform autopsies on both victims Friday.