Woman struck, killed by truck in Ligonier
A 54-year-old woman was killed when she was hit and trapped underneath a FedEx truck in Ligonier on Wednesday morning, despite attempts from bystanders to free her, Ligonier Valley police Chief John Berger said.
It appears to be an “unfortunate accident,” Berger said, adding that the driver of the truck did “nothing wrong.”
He identified the victim as Pamela Barkley of Fairfield Township. Berger said Barkley had just dropped off two children she was watching at a nearby preschool when she was struck.
The crash happened just after 9 a.m. at the intersection of East Church and North Market streets, a block north of Diamond Park. Barkley was walking west on Church Street near Covenant Presbyterian Church and Ligonier Valley YMCA and the FedEx driver was traveling north, Berger said. The crash happened at an intersection with stop signs and pedestrian walkways.
Bystanders raced to help the woman, and the borough’s public works director, who was working with a crew nearby, brought over a skid loader in an unsuccessful attempt to lift the truck off the woman and rescue her, Berger said.
“We did everything we could to try to get her free, and it was an unfortunate accident with a very bad ending,” he said.
Josh Redinger, owner of Redinger’s Lawncare, was building a wall in a parking lot nearby.
“I heard somebody scream, I think it was the lady that was sitting there waiting to go across,” he said a few hours afterward. “I turned around and there was a purse sitting in the road. I didn’t see much of it, but we reacted the best we could.”
The woman, a witness whom Redinger believes he heard scream, was trying to talk to Barkley until emergency responders got there.
“There was a lot of great people here,” he said. “There was a lady, she’s a saint. She was underneath the truck trying to help, talk the person through. I don’t know if she got any response, but we all came together to see what we could do.”
Berger was just a few seconds away when the call came in.
“Everybody tried to do whatever they could,” he said. “Just sometimes it doesn’t work out the way you want it.”
The intersection was closed for about three hours while authorities reconstructed the accident and collected evidence. Police will continue to investigate and were awaiting surveillance video from nearby businesses.
Barkley was pronounced dead at the scene. Westmoreland County Coroner Kenneth A. Bacha said a ruling on the cause and manner of her death are pending results of an autopsy, to be performed Thursday, and toxicology tests, which could take several weeks to complete.
“First and foremost, we extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the individual involved in this incident,” said FedEx spokeswoman Nikki Mendicino. “Safety is our highest priority and we are cooperating fully with investigating authorities at this time.”
The children Barkley dropped off were not hers, Berger said.
“Just dropping off a couple kids, it’s just a terrible way,” he said. “I feel sorry and my condolences go out to all the family members.”
Bacha Funeral Home of Greensburg is in charge of arrangements.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .