Two people were transported by Mutual Aid Ambulance to Allegheny Health Network Forbes Hospital on Monday after an SUV traveling west on Route 30 in Derry Township lost control and ended up submerged in the Loyalhanna Creek near Kingston Dam.
Derry Township Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 of Bradenville Chief Mark Piantine said it appeared the vehicle hydroplaned and left the highway just before 2 p.m.
“There was water on the road from a drain and it looked like they hydroplaned, hit the guide rail and went over into the Loyalhanna,” Piantine said.
“They floated down the creek probably about another 100 yards around the corner and they actually got out then.”
The people who were in the SUV, who weren’t identified by police or first responders as of Tuesday morning, had escaped the vehicle and made their way to the banks of the creek near the intersection of routes 30 and 217 when first responders arrived, according to Piantine.
Members of the county’s Team 175 swift water rescue team, which includes firefighters from Bradenville, New Alexandria and Lloydsville, responded to the scene, along with firefighters from Ligonier and Darlington, Piantine said.
With the occupants of the vehicle already out of the water, first responders placed yellow caution tape in the area and left the vehicle to be retrieved when water conditions in the creek are more hospitable.
“It’s still in there,” Piantine said. “We weren’t risking anybody’s lives to go pull that car out. There was nobody in it, so I’m not going to put somebody’s life in jeopardy over something that’s just a vehicle. There’s nobody in it, so it’s staying there until it can be safely taken out.”
A few hours later, firefighters were called to the same area after another vehicle lost control and overturned onto the shoulder of the highway, Piantine said. No injuries were reported in the crash, which occurred just before 5 p.m.