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Man injured after being trapped under asphalt roller in Monroeville

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By Kyle Lawson
Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, 12:48 p.m.

An equipment malfunction caused the operator of an asphalt roller to lose control of the machine on Friday and it veered off the road and into a creek, trapping the man beneath, authorities said.

A medical helicopter took the unidentified man from Forbes Regional Hospital in Monroeville to a Pittsburgh hospital, a Monroeville emergency responder said. The accident happened on Saunders Station Road.

The man was oiling and chipping the road when a hydraulic hose snapped, said Brian Renna, director of corporate relations for Suit-Kote paving.

“It sent the roller in a rare, rapid manner in a forward direction,” he said.

Instead of bailing from the machine, the operator attempted to steer it away from traffic, Renna said.

The machine rolled about 50 feet before it went off the road. The operator fell off and was trapped face-down, Monroeville Company No. 4 firefighter Kevin Bacco said.

Renna said such an accident has not happened in the 13 years he has been with the company. Crews inspect the machinery daily, but a problem with a hydraulic hose cannot be seen, he said.

Even though the hoses are changed once a year, he said, occasionally one malfunctions without warning.

Two surgeons and a Lifeflight crew from Forbes Regional assisted emergency medical responders at the accident scene. The man was conscious when pulled from beneath the roller, Bacco said.

Two tow trucks pulled the roller from the creek.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was investigating.

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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