By: KDKA-TV's Briana Smith and Shelley Bortz
JEFFERSON HILLS, Pa. (KDKA) - A dump truck crashed into a moving train, killing the driver and shutting down Route 51 for hours.
According to police, just before 11 p.m. Monday, a dump truck collided with a train carrying petroleum gas. The crash closed Route 51 from Jefferson Boulevard to Ridge Road for more than 12 hours.
"Once everything is finally removed, PennDOT has to inspect the roadway to make sure it is free of debris, and then we can reopen it. It was a long process," said Jefferson Hills Police Chief Ron Dziezgowski.
HAZMAT was on the scene as a precaution since the train was carrying flammable gas. The fire chief says they thought the train was leaking gas, but soon discovered it wasn't. They had about 20 employees evacuate from the Kurt J. Lesker building just to be safe.
Police and firefighters spent several hours trying to separate the truck from the train.
First responders and community members say their hearts go out to the driver's family and friends.
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"It was a tragedy. Guys are feeling kind of down and out right now," said Jefferson Hills Fire Rescue Chief Brian Chalfant.
The police chief says they're investigating to figure out what caused the crash. He says the traffic signals were working to warn drivers that a train was passing through.
The UPMC Children's Community Pediatrics Office nearby remains closed for the day.
The train was not derailed, but Route 51 was shut down for hours Tuesday in order to move the train and investigate the crash. The road reopened in the afternoon.
If you witnessed the crash or took a video of it, police want to hear from you.
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