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Three killed when minivan crashes into tree in Butler County

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 8:33 p.m.

Three people — including a child — were killed and two others injured when a minivan crashed into a tree Wednesday in Butler County.

The crash occurred at 6:12 p.m. in Brady Township along Centreville Pike, the road leading from Route 8 to Slippery Rock, county emergency dispatchers said.

Two adults and a child were pronounced dead at the scene, state police Lt. Eric Hermick said. Two children were flown to hospitals in stable condition.

Hermick identified the victims as Kimberly A. McLaughlin, 31, of Coraopolis, who was driving the vehicle; Terry W. Cramer Jr., 42, also of Coraopolis, who was riding in the front seat; and Terry Cramer III, 3, who was in a child restraint seat in the rear.

Emily McLaughlin, 1, was taken to Butler Memorial Hospital, and Stephanie Pounds, 11, was flown to Children's Hospital, he said.

Hermick said it appears McLaughlin may have fallen asleep at the wheel and lost control of the southbound vehicle, which swerved across the northbound lanes and hit a stump before being catapulted, roof first, into the tree.

The vehicle then came to rest upright, said Dave Taggart, chief of Slippery Rock Fire and Rescue.

“Two ambulances were on the scene when I got there. They had two of the kids out (of the vehicle),” he said. “We had to extricate the others who were trapped in the van. All the kids were still in child restraint seats. The driver was wearing a seat belt; the man wasn't.”

Hermick said some family members arrived at the scene — not far from The Old Stone House historic inn and museum — when accident reconstruction specialists were still at the scene.

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820

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