Motorist sues North Huntingdon, PennDOT, claiming road conditions caused accident |

Motorist sues North Huntingdon, PennDOT, claiming road conditions caused accident

Rich Cholodofsky

The survivor of a fatal North Huntingdon traffic accident last year is suing the township and PennDOT.

Robert E. Leonard Jr. of Trafford claims in a lawsuit filed last week in Westmoreland County that injuries he sustained in the April 20, 2018, crash on Route 993 could have been avoided if the roadway was better maintained.

The lawsuit states that icy road conditions contributed to the collision.

Leonard claims water runoff from an adjoining hillside froze on the road and caused another motorist to cross over into oncoming traffic and strike his vehicle.

“Defendant, North Huntingdon Township, had prior notice of the hazardous and dangerous condition on multiple occasions and failed to address or correct the hazardous condition,” according to the lawsuit.

North Huntingdon and PennDOT failed to design and build a safe roadway with proper water runoff and drainage systems and failed to warn motorists about the dangers, according to the lawsuit.

Leonard claims he was driving east on Route 993 between Baker School and Haywood roads shortly before 7:30 a.m., when another driver traveling westbound lost control of his vehicle because of the water and ice accumulation on the road. Leonard’s vehicle was hit head on and pushed into a guard rail.

In the lawsuit, Leonard claims he suffered injuries to his bones, muscles, tissues and ligaments of arms legs and his head, neck, back and spine.

Scott C. Harris, 52, of Turtle Creek, the driver of the other vehicle died from injuries he sustained in the crash. His estate was named as a defendant in the lawsuit, claiming Harris drove at a reckless speed, was inattentive and failed to exercise reasonable care on the road.

North Huntingdon Manager Jeff Silka said the township had not been served with the lawsuit and had no comment. PennDOT spokeswoman Ashley Schoch said the state agency will not make a statement on pending litigation.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
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