2008-11-13 / Front Page

Truck Wreck Backs Up Traffic On Turnpike

STAFF REPORT

A Bedford County collision involving a tractor-trailer and a dump truck backed up traffic along the westbound lanes of the Pennsylvania Turnpike last Friday.

Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Shawn Gilbert of the Everett Turnpike station reported 63-yearold William H. Watkins of Brownsville failed to move into the left-hand lane after seeing signage indicating roadwork ahead. Watkins' 1998 Freightliner tractor-trailer struck the crash attenuator attached to a 2003 Mack dump truck owned by the Turnpike Commission.

The impact caused the dump truck operated by Johnny Guitar Foor, 37, of Breezewood, to be pushed 116 feet up the northern berm. Meanwhile, Watkin's tractortrailer went into a concrete barrier and caught fire.

Watkins, Trooper Gilbert, added was able to get out of his truck before it became fully engulfed by flames. The tractor-trailer and its contents of canned and packaged food was totally destroyed in the blaze.

Watkins was wearing a seat belt as was Foor, who suffered moderate injuries. He was transported via ambulance to UPMC Bedford Memorial Hospital. No additional turnpike maintenance or road crew members were injured as a result of the crash in East Providence Township.

State police will be charging Watkins with duty of driver in construction and maintenance areas or on highway safety corridors, obedience to traffic control devices and careless driving. State police were assisted at the crash scene by the Breezewood and Everett fire companies.

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