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Kittanning youths OK after Route 422 crash

Jeffrey Savitskie
Emergency crews look on as Mohney's Towing worker Shawn Fisher directs removal of a Honda Pilot that hit a guard rail and overturned on Route 422 Monday afternoon. Monday, March 10, 2014.

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By Jeffrey Savitskie
Monday, March 10, 2014, 6:09 p.m.

Emergency crews around the overturned wreckage of a silver SUV were shaking their heads and using words like “miracle” and “lucky” when talking about the teen driver and an 11-year-old passenger who walked away from the crash with only minor injuries Monday afternoon.

The Honda Pilot was traveling west on Route 422 at about 4:30 p.m. when it hit a guard rail under the Route 66 overpass and slid for about 30 yards before flipping over and landing in the muddy grass off the shoulder of the road, said First Lt. John Breski of the Manor Township Fire Department.

“It's been a long time since I've seen a guard rail hit that hard,” Breski said, glancing at the twisted barrier under the overpass. “Everyone had their seat belts on. They were pretty lucky.”

The 16-year-old driver and his passenger, both from Kittanning, suffered only cuts and bruises in the crash, he said. State police investigating would not release their names because they are juveniles.

Whether there will be charges against the driver, and what caused the SUV to leave the road on the sunny, warm afternoon, will not be known until the investigation is complete.

Workers from Mohney's Towing in Kittanning struggled with a winch with heavy cable to pull the Pilot and its bent wheels through the thick mud of the shoulder of the road while traffic was directed around the wreckage. Worker Shawn Fisher scooped up a shovelful of Dum-Dums suckers from a pile that had spilled from the truck and tossed it into a broken window as it slid onto a flatbed to be hauled away.

“That was quite a crash,” he said.

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