Police: Dump truck may have crossed center line in Fayette crash that killed 3
State police are attempting to determine whether the driver of a tri-axle dump truck crossed into oncoming traffic Tuesday and hit a pickup head-on, killing three people who are members of the same family.
Investigators identified the victims as Kayla Nicole Burwell, 21, of Smithfield; Ronald Burwell, 53, of Uniontown; and Hunter Braddy, 4. They were the aunt and grandfather of the boy, according to Fayette County Coroner Phillip Reilly.
The crash happened just before 4 p.m. on Route 21 in German Township, just north of Masontown in the southern part of the county. Troopers said they came across the crash near the Double-T Bar.
Ronald Burwell was dead inside the truck, which was being driven by Kayla Burwell, police said. She was extricated from the truck by emergency responders and died at Uniontown Hospital.
The boy was pulled from the backseat by a good Samaritan but was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Troopers plan to obtain search warrants to further examine the vehicles and evaluate the type of damage on each, Trooper Robert Broadwater said.
Although Broadwater said troopers’ “preliminary determination” indicated that the tri-axle dump truck may have crossed the center line, “it has not been formally confirmed” and remains part of the ongoing investigation.
“It was a destructive scene,” he said.
The truck driver, a 46-year-old Connellsville man, was not seriously hurt. Troopers did not release his name.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money to assist with the Burwells’ funeral expenses.
Two people were killed in separate crashes in 2012 on the same road, not far from Tuesday’s crash site, according to PennDOT.
In 2016 and 2017, 45 people were killed in crashes in Fayette County, according to PennDOT statistics. County-level data was not available for 2018.
Statewide, the number of traffic deaths increased to 1,190 in 2018 from a record low the previous year of 1,137, according to transportation officials.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .