Munhall man killed in chain-reaction Parkway North crash
One person died and three were injured in a chain-reaction crash Tuesday morning along the busy Parkway North in Ross, state police said.
Bryant Beiter, 64, of Munhall, died in the crash, according to Trooper Melinda Bondarenka. He had been driving a dump truck hauling slag dust.
Southbound lanes of the highway, also known as Interstate 279, remained closed early Tuesday afternoon. Bondarenka said the southbound lanes could reopen by mid-afternoon. Officials initially predicted a late-morning reopening.
The highway is used by about 100,000 vehicles a day.
The crash happened at about 5 a.m. in a construction zone near the Bellevue Road overpass. No construction crews were working at the time, but southbound traffic has been reduced to two, 11-foot-wide lanes since Saturday. Lanes are normally 12 feet wide.
Beiter's dump truck hit a concrete barrier along the highway's left-hand lane, swerved across the right-hand lane and wound up on a guardrail, Bondarenka said. She did not say what caused Beiter to lose control of the vehicle. An investigation continues.
Beiter's truck dumped its load of slag dust in the wreck, obscuring the view of a motorist traveling behind the truck and initiating the chain-reaction crash that involved five vehicles in addition to the dump truck.
Beiter was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Bondarenka said he drove for a North Huntingdon company, but could not provide further details.
Paramedics took the injured people to area hospitals. The nature or severity of their injuries was unknown.
PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan said the Parkway North closure was "very impactful" during the morning rush hours, resulting in congestion along I-79 and other alternative routes such as Route 65, Perry Highway, McKnight Road, Route 8 and Route 19.
Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4691, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.