Indiana County woman dies in Derry Township wreck |

Indiana County woman dies in Derry Township wreck

Jeff Himler

A one-car wreck Monday afternoon in Derry Township claimed the life of the driver, an Indiana County woman.

Cleo E. Free, 76, of Burrell Township, was pronounced dead at about 2 p.m. in the emergency department of Excela Latrobe Hospital, according to Westmoreland County Coroner Kenneth Bacha. He attributed the death to multiple blunt force injuries.

Firefighters were called at about 1:20 p.m. to the crash scene on Route 217 about a half mile north of Route 30, Bradenville Fire Chief Mark Piantine said.

Bacha said Free, who was the sole occupant of a 2013 Ford Fiesta, failed to negotiate a slight left turn in the road while driving south. The car left the west side of the road, crashing through a fence and into a tree, he said.

Two Derry Township employees and another passerby attempted to gain entry to the wrecked car, Piantine said, before firefighters used a rescue tool to “pop open” a door.

According to Bacha, Free was wearing a seat belt, and the car’s air bags deployed. Results of toxicology tests were pending.

A section of Route 217 was closed to traffic until shortly after 3 p.m. while state police investigated.

Ferguson Funeral Home of Blairsville is in charge of arrangements.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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