CONNOQUENESSING TWP — A 25-year-old man was on his way home from a methadone clinic this morning when he crossed into oncoming traffic on Route 68 and caused a collision that killed the other driver in front of the Connoquenessing Elementary School, state police said.
Investigators suspect the man was impaired and had a suspended license for a previous drunken driving conviction, said Lt. Eric Hermick.
Police did not immediately release the names of either driver.
The suspected drugged driver, who lives in Connoquenessing Township not far from the crash, was eastbound on Route 68 about 10:35 a.m. when he veered into the opposite lane.
“Witnesses reported that he abruptly swerved into the oncoming lane,” Hermick said.
His Dodge Ram pickup collided with a westbound Nissan Frontier driven by a 52-year-old Oakland Township man, who died.
Butler County Coroner William Young III pronounced the older man dead at the scene. An autopsy is planned for this afternoon.
The driver of the Nissan “had no time to react,” Hermick said.
Connoquenessing volunteer firefighters had to use a Hurst tool to free the driver from his mangled Nissan.
He was apparently still alive when rescuers got there. However, he was pronounced dead soon after a LifeFlight helicopter, which was called to fly him to a Pittsburgh hospital, landed in a field across from the school.
His sister, who was a front seat passenger, was taken by ambulance to Butler Memorial Hospital, authorities said. Police did not identify the woman, who injuries were not considered serious.
An ambulance took the driver of the pickup to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh with “non-life-threatening injuries,” police said.
Police went to the hospital and spoke to the driver after the crash. He said that he was driving back from a visit to the methadone clinic in Cranberry Township, Hermick said.
The school is closed because today is Presidents Day.