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5 Hospitalized After Whitaker Bus-Pickup Truck Crash

WHITAKER (KDKA) -- Five people were sent to the hospital after a pickup truck and Port Authority bus crashed in Whitaker.

Port Authority Police say the Ford F-350 Super Duty pickup truck crossed the center line of Route 837 near the Rankin Bridge in Whitaker around 3:45 p.m. Monday.

The sound of the crash sent people from Mac's Auto Service running into the street to help.

"We ran out. My dad called 911, came out with a hose and sprayed it so there wasn't a fire and we just cut the wires," Clint McClaren, a witness, said. "The bus driver [was] like pinned against the seat – in between the seat and the steering wheel and everyone [was] all bloody, smoke everywhere."

The Thunder Scapes Landscaping pickup truck plowed into the cab of the 61C Port Authority bus. Fire crews arrived on the scene to free the bus driver who suffered leg injuries and treat the two passengers on board for minor injuries.

"We cut the front of the bus off," Whitaker Fire Chief Lenny Hilligsberg said. "We got her out. She was in good spirits. Two other people [were] in the back of the bus, but the medics took care of them."

At the same time, rescuers used the Jaws of Life to free the driver and passenger in the pickup truck.

"They were conscious, they were talking – I was surprised," Hilligsberg said.

Port Authority Police have not said why the pickup truck crossed the center line, but say charges are pending against the pickup truck driver.

They have not said what the charges will be because they have not finished their investigation.

The bus driver and two passengers were taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. The driver and passenger in the pickup truck were taken to Mercy Hospital.

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