Local

Woman killed in wrong-way Westmoreland crash

HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP — Intersections along Route 30 are flanked by wrong way and do not enter signs, but Thursday night, state police said a wrong-way crash killed one woman and seriously hurt another.

“It’s very dangerous,” said driver Silvia Paesano.

Paesano drives Route 30 in Hempfield Township often. She only lives about two miles away, in Jeannette.

She knows how busy this road is because she has been involved in an accident herself, right at this intersection at Greengate Road.

“I myself have been involved in an accident, I was hit from behind at the red light and pushed through the light,” Paesano said.

Thursday night, just after 10:30 p.m., state police said Laurie Prenatt was somehow going the wrong way on Route 30, near Tollgate Hill Road, and slammed head-on into a 31-year-old Greensburg woman.

The crash killed Prenatt and seriously hurt the other driver.

Both women are from the area, but it is unclear how Prenatt ended up going west in the eastbound lanes.

Paesano didn’t know either driver involved, but can understand how it could happen.

“They should have a slowing down speed right there, because by the time you hit that corner and then you see the light, you’re already there. You won’t see the traffic coming until you hit that point,” Paesano said.

From January to December of 2021, PennDOT reported four accidents at this intersection alone, one of them fatal.

Channel 11 reached out to PennDOT to find out if workers are looking into any changes at this intersection.

A spokesperson said:

“At this time, we are waiting on the final police report to determine what factors were involved with this incident.  Once police issue their final report, we will be able to determine if additional studies or investigations from PennDOT’s standpoint will need to be made.”

Troopers said they believe Prenatt was coming from the Youngwood area.

The other driver was taken to UPMC Presby in serious condition.