SHALER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Shaler Township police are actively investigating a wrong-way, head-on crash along Route 28 that sent eight children and three adults to Pittsburgh-area hospitals overnight.
The Shaler Township police chief confirms the woman driving the minivan was carrying eight children.
She is believed to not have a driver’s license.
Police say at least four of the children were not wearing seatbelts.
Everyone experienced minor injuries.
“We’re very lucky that it turned out the way that it did,” said Chief Sean Frank of the Shaler Township police.
Tonight, Shaler Township police and accident investigators are still working to figure out what went wrong and what caused the woman to go the wrong way on busy Route 28.
“The indication we got from the driver of the Honda minivan is that she came across the 40th Street Bridge. We don’t know if she made a wide turn and got into the wrong lane or went down into Millvale and came up the off-ramp for 28 South,” said Frank.
Criminal charges are pending against the driver.
She was not believed to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, nor were the driver and passenger she ran into head-on Monday evening.
Police say the children in the minivan ranged in age from 1-11 years old.
At least four were not wearing seatbelts.
All are expected to be OK.
Local drivers tell Channel 11 the stretch of 28 where the accident happened is very challenging to navigate, regardless of if you’re from out of town or are a lifelong resident.
“Several times people have gone the wrong way, so I don’t know. I think 28′s extremely dangerous. There’s always crashes on 28,” said Carol Reinhart of Millvale.
Channel 11 reached out to PennDOT about safety concerns and the number of crashes in the area.
A spokesperson said the agency made a number of signage and marking improvements over the years.
Data from the last 5 years shows:
- Five people died in wrong way crashes on Route 28.
- There were 48 crashes total.
- Of those, 43 of the crashes were head on accidents.
Tonight, drivers are calling for additional safety measures to slow down and to avoid another tragedy.
“Try to control the speed I guess. What else are they gonna do? People have to be responsible for themselves,” said Arlene Daun-Nanksy of Millvale.
Shaler Township police say charges will be filed against the driver — specifically, summary traffic violations.
They will consult with the district attorney for anything more.
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