Share This Page

Truck crashes into Dairy Queen, 6 injured in Penn Hills

| Thursday, July 24, 2014, 3:22 p.m.
Stephanie Strasburg | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA
A section of Verona Road was shut down as emergency workers responded to a pickup truck crashing through the side wall of a Dairy Queen in Verona on Thursday, July 24, 2014.
Patrick Varine | Trib Total Media
A Penn Hills police officer looks at a truck that crashed through the wall of the Dairy Queen on Verona Road on Thursday, July 24, 2014.
Patrick Varine | Penn Hills Progress
Above, a truck hauling landscaping equipment crashed into the side of the Verona Road Dairy Queen on Thursday afternoon.
Patrick Varine | Trib Total Media
A truck crashed into the side of the Verona Road Dairy Queen on Thursday, July 24, 2014. Six people were injured.
Patrick Varine | Penn Hills Progress
Above, emergency crews tow the truck out from inside the restaurant. Thursday, July 24, 2014.
Patrick Varine | Penn Hills Progress
Above, the smashed front end of a truck which crashed through the wall of the Verona Road Dairy Queen on Thursday, July 24, 2014.
Patrick Varine | Penn Hills Progress
Fire crews work to clear debris from the Dairy Queen on Verona Road following a truck crash.
Patrick Varine | Penn Hills Progress
A Penn Hills police officer inspects damage to the truck on Thursday, July 24, 2014.

A pickup hauling a trailer with landscaping equipment slammed into a Penn Hills Dairy Queen on Thursday and injured six people, fire and EMS officials said.

The entire truck and part of the trailer drove into a side wall of the restaurant on Verona Road, said Penn Hills fire Lt. Jonathan Scaife, who was the first emergency responder on the scene.

“They took a corner too fast, according to the driver, and went right into the building,” Scaife said. “It's not something you want to roll up on.”

Scaife said three of the four people inside the truck had injuries and went to the hospital. The truck hit a customer outside the restaurant, sending him to the hospital. Two employees inside, including the co-owner, went to the hospital with injuries. Scaife said witnesses helped rescue one employee, pulling her out of a restaurant window.

“Fortunately, none of (the injuries) were life-threatening,” Penn Hills EMS Supervisor Diane Fitzhenry said.

Ambulances took patients to Forbes Regional Hospital and UPMC Presbyterian, Fitzhenry said.

Penn Hills police Officer Mike Lape said the crash, which happened about 2:40 p.m., remains under investigation.

Madeline McCaskill, owner of Miss M's Happy Tots Day Care across from the Dairy Queen, was outside when the crash occurred.

“I heard a loud noise that sounded like an explosion,” McCaskill said. “When I turned around, the whole truck and part of the trailer (it was hauling) was inside the building.”

Scaife said the damage was extensive, and the restaurant may have to be demolished. Allegheny County property records show the owners, Fuchs Enterprises, bought the restaurant in 2011.

A tow truck pulled the truck from the building. Contractors boarded up the hole with plywood.

Verona Road was closed between Sandy Creek and Frankstown roads for a little more than an hour before reopening to traffic.

Patrick Varine and Aaron Aupperlee are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Staff writer Margaret Harding contributed to this report.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.