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Second person dies from injuries sustained in I-70 crash



ROSTRAVER, Pa. - A second person has died from injuries suffered Wednesday morning in a two-car crash on Interstate 70 in Belle Vernon.

Authorities said the crash was reported near the intersection of Route 51 and Interstate 70 about 9:40 a.m.

Police said Gary King, 38, of Belle Vernon changed lanes and traveled into the onramp lane just as the other car involved merged onto the highway.

Police said there is a stop sign at the merge point, so the driver of the other vehicle was likely only trying to get up to the speed limit on the roadway.

King's 2-year-old boy was in the car, in a car seat, at the time of the crash and was taken to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh to be checked out. His condition has not been released, but authorities expect him to be fine.

Frank Armstrong, 64, of New Stanton, was pronounced dead at the scene and his wife, Linda, was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in stable condition.

Another passenger, Freda Rorke, 91, was also hurt in the crash and was rushed to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. Hospital officials said Rorke died at the hospital overnight.

“I just heard a wild crash and thought it was a dump truck going by. Then I saw the helicopters,” Francis Croes, who lives in the area, said.

Croes said the merge point where the accident occurred is difficult.

“You come to a complete stop and have to look quickly because these trucks drive like 90 mph,” Croes said.

Troopers said they urge drivers to move over when passing an onramp and make room for others who are merging.

“If you see an onramp where people are merging, we encourage you to get into the left lane just like when you see an emergency vehicle and allow yourself distance,” Pennsylvania State Trooper Stefani Plume said.

King could face negligent driving charges. Investigators said they're also working to see if he suffered a medical condition before the crash.

Westbound lanes on I-70 were closed, and traffic was backed up for miles while crews worked to clear the scene.