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PennDOT staff in Allegheny County offer help after crash

December 16, 2020 12:00 PM
By: Steve Cowan

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​On October 26, 2020 around 7:00 AM, a collision occurred near the Fort Pitt Tunnel Garage on the Parkway West, involving multiple vehicles.  One of the vehicles hit the end of the guiderail at the exit of the garage parking lot, went over the hillside, and landed on its side in Saw Mill Run Creek.

Employees at the tunnel and garage heard the crash and immediately responded.  Ed Hart and Brian Henze were first on scene, immediately climbing down the hill to the vehicle.  Dante DeMatteo and new Tunnel Maintainer Van Purcell were right behind them.  Rich McQuillan, Brian Gidos, Keith Imhoff, and Denny King all came out of the garage to help as well. DeMatteo, Purcell, and McQuillan all went down the hillside to assist. 

The motorist was injured and unable to get out of the car.  A medical professional who was driving by stopped and climbed down the hill but couldn't talk to the motorist since the doors wouldn't open.  DeMatteo stabilized the car with nearby rocks and tree branches and Henze removed the windshield so the medical professional could assess the motorist. 

City of Pittsburgh Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the Pennsylvania State Police arrived at the scene and set up access with a rope line down the hill.  Everyone assisted EMS with removing the motorist, carrying the motorist on the backboard basket, and helping pull them up the hill.  After the motorist was taken by ambulance, they worked on getting access for McGann and Chester Towing to remove the vehicle.  Several of the Tunnel staff assisted McGann & Chester with removing the vehicle from the creek. 

"I have got to say we should be very proud of our employees' efforts.  I know our staff always help motorists, but I think this was well above the high standard they already have," said Ben DeVore, Tunnels Maintenance Manager.

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