Police: Man climbs to safety after van goes over in Churchill hillside
A Wilkins Township man whose minivan went over a steep hillside Wednesday in Churchill morning managed to climb back up the hill on his own before police and paramedics arrived, authorities said.
“I have no idea how he got up there,” said Churchill police Chief Ronald Akerley. “I would have liked to have seen it.”
The incident took place shortly before 9:10 a.m. at William Penn Highway between Rodi Road and Lower Rodi Road.
Akerley said the man was driving east on William Penn Highway when his van abruptly veered left, crossed into the westbound lanes, crashed through a rail and plummeted 100 feet down the hillside. It rolled at least once before coming to rest on all four tires.
The man, who is in his 60s, wasn’t wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Akerley believes the van’s airbags are what kept him inside the van when it rolled.
“He definitely should be counting his lucky stars right now,” the chief said.
Following the crash, the chief said the man made his way up the hillside and to the roadway, where motorists who saw the crash were waiting. He said the man was sitting in another motorist’s vehicle waiting for paramedics when police got there. Akerley couldn’t immediately identify him.
“It was minor injuries. He was walking on scene. (He had) some bumps and bruises. All in all, he definitely lucked out,” Akerley said.
The man was taken to a local hospital to be evaluated for neck pain and a possible hand injury. The wrecked van was pulled up the hill using a winch cable system, Akerley said.
“He was talking,” the chief said. “There was no visible injuries. His hand was a little banged up, but that was about it.”
Police are investigating the cause of the crash.
Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, [email protected] or via Twitter .