Van hits five vehicles, overturns

June 4, 2014
G.L. Riley and Daron Whitaker look on as police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel work at the scene on Park Avenue where police say a driver hit four parked vehicles, overturned and then hit another parked car. The driver was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital. - Photo provided by G.L. Riley

Speed and alcohol are suspected factors in a crash early Wednesday that sent a Washington man to a Pittsburgh hospital.

Roger F. Miller, 59, of 100 S. Franklin St., Crumrine Towers, was driving north on Park Avenue near Trinity High School about 3:10 a.m. at an apparent speed when his vehicle went off the road and hit four parked vehicles, said police Sgt. Jerry Cavanaugh.

Miller’s van then rolled onto its roof before hitting a fifth vehicle, sliding along the road when the roof collapsed. The impact occurred with such force that it knocked one of the vehicles completely around, Cavanaugh said. At least one of the vehicles hit by Miller’s vehicle will likely be a total loss, he added.

Miller had to be extricated by North Franklin and Washington firefighters. Cavanaugh said Miller was not wearing a seat belt. He was bleeding from his head and arms. Miller was flown from the scene to UPMC–Presbyterian hospital. A hospital spokeswoman said he is listed in fair condition Wednesday afternoon.

Cavanaugh said a witness saw Miller vomiting along the side of the road in the 2100 block of Park Avenue just prior to the crash.

Inside Miller’s car, police found a handgun, slingshot and blow gun. Cavanaugh said Miller was the registered owner of the gun and did have a valid permit to carry the weapon.

Blood was drawn to determine his alcohol level. Charges are pending those results.

Traffic on Park Avenue had to be detoured for about an hour while the crash was investigated and the wreckage cleared.

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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