Investigators believe icy road conditions caused a rollover accident in Butler County late Wednesday morning that killed two children.
Officials said Elisabeth McCullough, 32, was less than five miles from her Connoquenessing home when she skidded off of Lower Harmony Road, rolled over and hit a tree about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
McCullough, who suffered minor injuries in the crash, immediately called 911. When emergency crews arrived at the scene, they said it took about an hour to extricate the brothers from the car.
State police Lt. Eric Hermick identified the victims as Declan McCullough, who would have turned 1 on Friday, and his brother, Liam Bintrim, 3.
The boys were apparently crushed by the roof of the SUV their mother was driving after she slid off the road and hit a tree, Hermick said.
“We believe this was a pure incident beyond her control,” Hermick said.
The brothers, who investigators said were properly strapped in their car seats, were both pronounced dead at the scene.
Channel 11 meteorologist Kevin Benson said freezing rain was reported just north of Pittsburgh Wednesday during the time of the crash. Benson said even though the temperatures were well above freezing, the surface temperature of the roadways was still cold and the rain froze on contact.
Tracey Fennel lives near the crash site and said the road can get dangerous during winter weather.
“People can’t even walk up the hill. It’s pretty bad,” Fennel said.
State police said they received 42 calls for accidents within a 15-minute time frame on Wednesday.
Channel 11's news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.