1 killed in fiery HOV lanes crash on I-279

Updated:

Loading
PITTSBURGH —

One man was killed in a fiery crash in the high-occupancy vehicle lanes of Interstate 279 early Tuesday morning.

The crash happened near the Perrysville Avenue exit in Ross Township.

State police said the driver traveled off the left side of the roadway and struck a barrier, before going airborne and rolling the car on its roof. At that point, investigators said, the car caught fire with the driver inside.

 “The individual for unknown reasons lost control of his vehicle at one point in time, road the jersey barrier, there was a second impact where he hit a concrete wall and that vehicle flipped over into a grassy median area,” Trooper Robin Mungo said.

Doug Cumens said he was driving by and saw flames shooting from the car. He called 911, and said he then tried to see if he could help.

“I immediately started searching the area for foot prints in the snow or calling out for help, there was nothing. I just had that eerie feeling that someone was still inside that car,” Cumens said.

Police said the vehicle involved was likely a Jeep Wrangler. State police said they are still working on positively identifying the victim.

“I wish the family the best of luck, and I’m sorry I couldn’t do more than what I tried,” Cumens said. 

The accident happened about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, but the HOV lanes remained closed more than four hours later.

So far, the name of the victim has not been released.