3 injured in head-on Route 356 crash in Allegheny Township; 1 driver to be charged | TribLIVE.com
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Natasha Lindstrom

Three people were hospitalized Friday night in a head-on collision on Route 356 in Allegheny Township, and alcohol may have played a role, police said.

One driver is expected to be charged with DUI because police suspect he may have been under the influence of alcohol, narcotics or both, Allegheny Township police Officer Mark Junod said. The man accused of DUI was injured and airlifted by medical helicopter to a nearby hospital.

Also injured were a husband and wife in the other car.

The man accused of DUI was driving a Jeep Compass toward Leechburg shortly after 9 p.m. when he veered into the opposite lane and collided with a Nissan Murano occupied by the couple, Junod said.

The smashed-up cars came to a rest on either side of Route 356.

Wally Evans, 59, was in a backyard trimming grass when he heard “a big boom” in the front yard. He ran out and saw the wreckage.

The Nissan came to a rest only yards from the front door of the woman who lives next door.

“The one girl was on the ground; the other guy, I guess, her husband, was still trapped in the car,” Evans said.

He reflected about how he’d been mowing that lawn feet from where the Nissan landed.

Minutes later, medics, police and firefighters arrived. Rescue workers had to cut the husband from the Nissan.

Both cars’ airbags deployed. Both front windshields were shattered and front ends destroyed.

“By the damage, I would say both vehicles were going at least 45 to 55 mph,” Junod said.

Junod said that all three people involved were able to talk to him, but he was unsure of the extent of their injuries.

Officials shut down Route 356 in both directions between White Cloud and Garvers Ferry roads for more than an hour while they cleared the wreckage. Volunteer firefighters swept up pieces of the cars and debris scattered in the street while tow trucks hauled away the vehicles.

The thoroughfare reopened at about 10:20 p.m.

Evans said he’s seen too many accidents in the area. He hopes people will use extra caution and slow down, especially on curves and at night.

“It happens all the time. They come flying through here,” Evans said. “We’ve had trees hit and stuff like that. That’s why she (the neighbor) has those rocks sitting there, to keep the cars from going into her yard.”

Police have not yet identified the man expected to be charged. Calls to police Saturday for details were unsuccessful.

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