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3 trucks wreck, closing Route 8 in northern Butler County

| Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 9:15 a.m.
James Knox | Tribune-Review
State police and hazardous materials teams survey the scene of a crash involving three trucks at an underpass on Route 8 on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in Mercer Township in Butler County.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
State police and Hazardous materials teams survey the scene of a crash involving three trucks at an underpass on Route 8 on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, near the intersection with Station Road in Forestville, Butler County.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
State police and hazardous materials teams survey the scene of a crash involving three trucks at an underpass on Route 8 on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in Mercer Township in Butler County.

A violent crash in northern Butler County on Tuesday critically injured the driver of one of three trucks that collided on Route 8.

The driver of a tractor-trailer, who is from Johnstown, was flown to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio, from the crash in Mercer Township.

“It was like a very loud kaboom. Then there was dust everywhere. Then, for a long time, all you could hear were sirens. Then the helicopter came to fly the truck driver away,” said Amanda McClung, whose house is along Route 8 several hundred feet from the crash scene.

The trucks collided about three miles south of Interstate 80 at 8:25 a.m., according to Dave Titley, a trooper with state police in Butler.

The tractor-trailer driver was heading south on Route 8 and tailgating a car, Titley said. When the driver of the car made a turn, the tractor-trailer driver tried to stop abruptly, causing his vehicle to jackknife, Titley said. Authorities did not release his name.

The crash mangled his rig and caused fuel to spill on the road. Hazardous materials teams were at the site to clean the area.

Johnstown-based Dunlo Transfer owns the tractor-trailer. A company official at the scene declined to comment.

A dump truck traveling behind the tractor-trailer hit it, as did a northbound flatbed trailer truck that was carrying logs. The drivers of the flatbed and the dump truck were not injured, Titley said.

A short section of Route 8 was closed nearly all day, but Titley said the detour was relatively minor.

“It's a one-mile detour. There's also never that much heavy traffic in this area, so there have not really been major backups,” he said.

Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or rwills@tribweb.com.

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