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Greensburg couple killed when truck slams into tree near Mutual

| Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, 4:00 p.m.
Brian F. Henry | Tribune-Review
Firefighters secure the scene of a double fatal accident on Greensburg-Mt. Pleasant Road near Weavers Road in Unity Township on Monday, December 16, 2013.

A Greensburg couple were killed on Monday afternoon when their truck slammed into a tree along Greensburg-Mt. Pleasant Road in Unity Township, police said.

Chester D. Ludwig, 74, was driving a 2008 Ford Ranger and his wife, Elaine Rose Ludwig, 68, was a passenger, according to state police.

Chester Ludwig was driving south on the road near Mutual just before 2 p.m. when he lost control of the truck, crossed the centerline and went off the berm, police said. The truck hit a tree stump, then continued traveling southeast and struck a large tree near Weavers Road.

The rural road was blocked for roughly two hours while police investigated and emergency responders worked at the scene.

“It's a bad stretch of road, that's for sure,” said Mutual Volunteer Fire Department Chief Greg Coffman. “There's been quite a few bad accidents along there.”

Craig Deuel has lived in his home roughly 100 yards from the accident scene for about 12 years.

“There's at least one to two bad wrecks on this stretch every year,” he said.

About three years ago, a vehicle plowed through Deuel's yard, prompting him to build an earthen embankment on the edge of his property bordering the road, he said. He installed fencing as well.

“That car was coming north, and it tore right up through the yard and smashed my boy's swing set,” he said.

Monday's accident had Deuel thinking all the more about finding a new home for himself, his wife, Kathy, and the couple's two young sons.

“We're looking to move, we've already been talking about it,” he said.

The roadside property of another nearby resident, Stephen Sosko, is protected by a guide rail measuring roughly 20 yards.

“There still has been four vehicles which have crashed into my yard in the past five years or so,” Sosko said. “One of them crashed right into the house two years ago.”

The Ludwigs were taken to the emergency room at Excela Health Westmoreland hospital in Greensburg, where they were pronounced dead by emergency room physicians, according to the Westmoreland County Coroner's Office.

Both were wearing seat belts, police said.

A.J. Panian is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-547-5722 or apanian@tribweb.com.

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