WILMERDING, Pa. (KDKA) — The driver of a garbage truck died after he crashed into two homes early Tuesday morning in Wilmerding and tipped over, causing a big mess.
The 47-year-old driver, Dana M Rodericks, was trying to make a turn from Jefferson Street onto Patton around 4 am when the Big’s Sanitation garbage truck tipped and struck two homes, Allegheny County police said. The truck landed on its side.
“My heart goes out to the family, definitely,” said Tamara Prunty, who lives nearby.
One of the homes was vacant, but there were people in the other house at the time of the accident. They were not injured.
Two children were reportedly sleeping upstairs when the crash happened, the Wilmerding fire marshal said. The house has been deemed uninhabitable and the family impacted will be receiving aid from the Red Cross.
Prunty said she didn’t hear the crash, but she saw the aftermath.
“To see someone passed away, and this is in your community — I’ve always been down here helping out and watching out for people down here,” she said. “It’s close to home.”
Wilmerding Fire Marshal Al Hussey said there is a lot of structural damage to the vacant house and he expects it to be demolished Tuesday evening.
“It’s a hazard to the residents and public safety,” said Hussey. “So our main goal is to be proactive and prevent an incident before it happens.”
Hussey said the driver also severed a gas line, releasing a large amount of gas into the air.
“There was no way to shut them off because the vehicle was on top of the gas shutoffs,” said Hussey. “So myself and the gas company and firemen had to improvise to get the gas shut off until McGann and Chester got here and others came to assist.”
Residents on the street who had to evacuate their homes were allowed back in, and no one is in danger.
Hussey said the other house will likely be torn down, too.
Allegheny County police detectives and accident reconstructionists are investigating the crash.