Local volunteer firefighter killed in crash on Parkway East

PITTSBURGH — A Presto volunteer firefighter was killed in a crash on Parkway East on Wednesday morning.

Sources tell Channel 11 Fire Lt. Terry Tackett died in the crash.

The department tells us they are shaken up and hurting by his sudden passing.

11 News spoke with a former first responder who saw the crash and jumped into action.

“He had a light pulse, but (there) was blood coming from both of his ears,” Terrance Ryan said. “It was a sad situation.”

Ryan jumped out of his car to help a woman in a one-car crash half a mile away. He says she hit the embankment.

“Then the tow truck came with the arrow to direct cars to push over,” Ryan recalled. “He wasn’t there two minutes, and we heard, ‘Bang!’ And we turned around and saw the first two cars hit the pickup truck and the SUV, and then the semi ran into the back of the pickup truck.”

Ryan says the impact of the crash broke the truck driver’s front seat.

“Honestly, my thought was, ‘We have a fatality.’ That was my (reaction) before we even got to the truck because we saw the impact of the back.”

State police tell us the three-car crash happened on Interstate 376 East around 6:25 a.m. It happened just before the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.

11 News learned one man died at the hospital, and a woman in the other vehicle was taken to the hospital.

But for Ryan, he says he didn’t think twice about putting himself in harms way to help others.

“It’s just nature for me. It’s just reaction,” he said. “Stabilize; don’t move. Wait for help.”

State police, the forensic services unit and collision reconstruction team are investigating what exactly caused the crash.

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