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Route 422 reopened after serious accident in Kittanning Township

| Friday, March 6, 2015, 2:42 p.m.
State police closed Route 422 in Kittanning Township for nearly six hours on Friday, March 6, 2015, following a crash involving an overturned coal truck and two other vehicles.
Louis B. Ruediger | Trib Total Media
State police closed Route 422 in Kittanning Township for nearly six hours on Friday, March 6, 2015, following a crash involving an overturned coal truck and two other vehicles.

State police said two people were flown to a Pittsburgh hospital because of a three-vehicle crash Friday in Kittanning Township that closed Route 422 for nearly six hours.

John Forte, 31, of Tarentum was driving east toward Elderton on Route 422 about 2 p.m. when he lost control of his tri-axle coal truck, police said.

The truck rolled onto its passenger side and slid into the oncoming lane near Graham Road.

The coal truck collided nearly head-on with a GMC Sierra 3500 pickup driven by Abby Thornbury, 34, of Slippery Rock, police said.

Thornbury's truck then was rear-ended by the Cadillac Escalade behind her, police said.

Police said Thornbury and an unidentified passenger in her truck were flown to Allegheny General Hospital with serious injuries.

Forte was taken to ACMH Hospital in East Franklin with minor injuries, police said. The driver of the SUV, Pamela Singer, 49, of Hollidaysburg, suffered minor injuries, but police did not indicate she was hospitalized.

Police said they are investigating the cause of the crash.

Route 422 was closed until about 8:15 p.m. while police reconstructed the crash and the load of coal was removed from the highway.

It's at least the fourth serious crash on Route 422 in the last month.

An Erie man died Feb. 21 when he lost control of his pickup on the snow-covered highway in Plumcreek and crashed into an oncoming tractor-trailer.

That crash was in the same area as a collision that occurred three days earlier when a school bus was rear-ended by a coal truck during a snow squall. Four children aboard the bus suffered minor injuries.

Another school bus driver was seriously injured Feb. 4 when his bus rear-ended a stopped tanker truck at the intersection with Bonniebrook Road in Summit Township, Butler County.

Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or

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