Water Tank Truck Driver Killed on PA Route 88 in Greene County

by Duane Nichols on July 24, 2014

Driver killed after water tank truck goes off Route 88 in rollover crash in Greene County

From a News Report of WTAE, News 4, Pittsburgh, July 16, 2014

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP, Pa. - A driver who carried water for the oil and gas industry was killed after his large tank truck rolled over, hit another vehicle and crashed into a Greene County woman’s garage.

Sky 4 flew over the accident scene Wednesday afternoon on Route 88 in Jefferson Township, not far from Clarksville Road, and showed the truck lying on its side in a grassy area off the side of the road.

Video in Original Article: Watch Ashlie Hardway’s report

State police said Leroy Melvin Knisley, 42, of Clarksburg, West Virginia, lost control of the tanker truck on a curve, traveled into the opposite lane, and rolled over the hillside.

Helicopter video showed the garage ripped apart, and debris scattered around the truck, which had an ECM Energy Services logo on it.

Frances Biel was outside checking on her vegetables when she got the fright of her life. She estimated that she was 10 feet away when the crash happened.

“I was in my garden and, of course, I can’t hear real good, but then all of a sudden I hear a ‘bing, bang’ and then I happen to look and my garage was coming toward me,” Biel said. “I thought it was going to meet me too, but it didn’t.”

And this wasn’t the first time. “I’ve built I don’t know how many garages — three for sure,” Biel said. “It must be going to happen all the time, by the looks of it.”

“We’ve had cars every time you turn around in the yards, one way or the other,” neighbor Earl Arnold said. “There’s times I’ve sat there and I just hear the tires squeal and I’m waiting on it to come through my house. You just get used to it, and you hope they don’t come through, but you hear them squealing and you think they’re coming.”

State police said Thursday they will soon begin running radar in the area to in an effort to curb speeders. Residents told police speeding is an issue in that stretch of Route 88.

“It was brought to their attention, both from being at the scene and from citizens also in the area that brought up the fact that it is a pretty sharp bend in the roadway. There have been multiple accidents in that particular location from what they feel might be a problem with speeding,” said Trooper Stefani Plume. “They do plan to go out, if they have a chance, and hang out in the area, run radar in the area.”

PennDOT spokeswoman Valerie Petersen said crews will be replacing the damaged guard rail and at that time will assess if PennDOT can do anything to make the road safer. Several yellow signs warning drivers of bends already exist, and Petersen said the 45 mph speed limit is appropriate for that stretch of roadway.

The driver of an SUV that was hit was flown to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. Police said she suffered moderate injuries. Sky 4 video showed her vehicle with a shattered windshield, sitting on a flatbed tow truck.

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