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Truck crashes into Dairy Queen, 6 injured in Penn Hills

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By Patrick Varine and Aaron Aupperlee
Thursday, July 24, 2014, 3:03 p.m.
 

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.

 

 
 


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