WASHINGTON TWP. – The eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 near Falls Creek were reopened about 11 p.m. Monday evening following a pileup involving at least 15 vehicles and injuring 17 people that occurred at about 2:30 p.m. Monday afternoon in snowy weather.
Several crash reports were issued by the DuBois-based Pa. State Police Tuesday as of press time, with more reports expected later in the week. Several people involved sustained serious injuries, but no fatalities have been reported in the crash in Washington Township, Jefferson County.
According to police, in the first crash that reportedly began the pileup, authorities report that all units were traveling east on I-80 when a tractor-trailer operated by Fernando Olivas, 56, of Oil City, operating a 2002 Sterling, observed a slow-moving eastbound vehicle and steered to the left to go around the vehicle when he lost control and the truck began to slide, jackknifing across both eastbound lanes. Randel Kimber, 63, of Brigham City, Utah, operating a 2012 Freightliner, and Tanya Pangallo, 20, of Brockway, operating a 2005 Dodge Stratus, could not avoid the Olivas vehicle and struck it, with the Pangallo vehicle becoming pinned against the guardrail alongside the Kimber vehicle. Pangallo was taken to DRMC-West for treatment of minor injuries. Kimber and Olivas reportedly did not sustain any injuries. All vehicles in the crash received severe damage.
The third crash was caused by the chain reaction of other crashes and occurred as all of the involved vehicles were traveling east on I-80. According to police, the crash occurred between a 2004 Peterbilt truck/2006 Great Dane trailer operated by a 51-year-old man from Chattanooga, Tenn; a 1992 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight operated by a 20-year-old female of Madisonburg; a 31-year-old male of Brookville operating a 2006 Isuzu Ascender and also transporting a 29-year-old female and three juvenile males ages 4, 6, and 9 years old; a 47-year-old male of DuBois operating a 2003 GMC Envoy and transporting a 9-year-old juvenile passenger; and a 49-year-old male of Wallkill, N.Y., operating a 2006 Dodge Ram and transporting an 8-year-old juvenile female passenger.
Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.