Washington man ‘within inches’ of losing his life in Morris crash

September 12, 2017
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A Washington man suffered serious injuries Tuesday morning when his vehicle went off a Morris Township road and was impaled by a guardrail.
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Courtesy of Greene County Regional Police Department
The interior of a car that was impaled by a guardrail Tuesday morning in Morris Township, pinning the driver

A Washington man was seriously injured, but police said he was lucky to be alive after a wreck Tuesday morning in which his vehicle went off Prosperity Pike in Morris Township, Washington County, and was impaled by a guardrail.

Seth Yoders, 24, was flown to UPMC-Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment.

“If there is anyone out there who can honestly say that they came within inches of their life, it is Mr. Yoders,” Greene County Regional police Chief Michael Natale said in a department Facebook post.

Morris fire Chief Dave Dietrich said Yoders was driving north on Prosperity Pike near Old Concord Road when his car went off the right side of the road and hit a culvert. The car became airborne, Dietrich said, before striking the guardrail. The guardrail went through the engine and into the passenger compartment. Yoders was pinned by the guardrail. Dietrich said it took about 10 minutes to extricate Yoders from the wreckage.

Macaque in the trees
The interior of a car that was impaled by a guardrail Tuesday morning in Morris Township, pinning the driver
Courtesy of Greene County Regional Police Department

Natale said in his Facebook post Yoders was in a state of shock from the crash, which was reported at 9:45 a.m.

He said all of the first responders at the scene were “amazed” Yoders survived the crash and was conscious at the scene.

“We have received a phone call from Mr. Yoders’ relatives informing us that he is badly banged up, but miraculously suffered no broken bones,” Natale said on Facebook.

Natale said Yoders told him he had worked a midnight shift at a local coal mine and likely dozed off while driving home, causing the crash. Natale also said speed was likely a factor because one of the headlights “snapped off and flew an additional 75-80 feet forward from the car.”

South Franklin Township firefighters and a crew from Ambulance and Chair Service also assisted. The road was closed for about 90 minutes.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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