MCKEESPORT, Pa. — Four people were hurt when a garbage truck crashed hit several vehicles and then crashed into a building in McKeesport on Monday afternoon.
“All of a sudden, it sounded like a freight train,” said Mandy Smith.
Around 12:40 p.m., that noise caused Mandy Smith to look up at her security monitors at Ryco Plumbing.
“I see in that camera right there the truck starting to come barreling through,” said Smith.
This garbage truck started at the top of 13th Street.
“It sounded like a panicked airhorn,” said Mars Supply Co-Owner Bruce Ungar.
The garbage truck came down the hill. When it went through the intersection with Walnut Street, it hit a red pickup truck. Then smashed through the fence of Ryco Plumbing. Seven parked cars were damaged.
“And then the sound of vehicles colliding, which is a very ugly sound,” said Ungar.
Bruce Ungar ran out of his business, Mars Supply. He saw what happened and called 911.
“I saw people laying on the ground,” said Ungar. “Crawling away from the street.”
Four people were taken to the hospital. Two of them were in the red pickup truck and two employees were with the garbage company.
“The poor guy that was hanging on to the back of the truck,” said Smith. “Held on the whole time. We found him sitting out here on the ground just kinda dazed.”
In surveillance video, you can see what Mandy is talking about — a person holding on for dear life before that truck finally came to a stop feet from the building.
“They were very lucky inside,” said McKeesport Deputy Fire Chief Tom Perciavalle. “It stopped about two feet short of the building. So I give the driver a little bit of credit there for avoiding a major catastrophe.”
“Very lucky,” said Smith. “Thank goodness.”
Perciavalle says it sounds like the truck lost its brakes. The Department of Transportation will be inspecting the truck in the next few days to determine exactly what happened.
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