SCRUBGRASS, Venango County — An Ohio trucker died Thursday night in a four-rig pileup that closed a portion of Interstate 80 for several hours, authorities said.
Joseph P. Bieganowski, 54, of Warren was killed when the car carrier he was driving eastbound about 6:30 p.m. slammed into the back of a box tractor-trailer, some two miles west of Emlenton.
The collision set off two more rear-end collisions between the Clintonville exit in Venango County and the St. Petersburg/Emlenton exit in Clarion County.
Police said Bieganowski failed to stop in time when he hit the back of a rig driven by James Beatty, 64, of Nicktown, Cambria County that was stopped for a traffic backlog about three miles west of a bridge construction project.
Investigators think Bieganowski’s truck was hauling seven cars and was headed to Dubois, Clearfield County.
The collision caused Beatty’s truck to ram into a tractor-trailer driven by Calvin Tartt, 61, of Canton, Ohio. In turn, police said, Tartt’s truck hit the back of a rig driven by Alonzo Pipkin, 37, of Columbus.
None of the other truckers was injured.
The crash left Bieganowski trapped inside his vehicle. Emlenton volunteer firefighters had to cut open the truck to get to get to him.
But authorities think he likely died of head and chest injuries on impact.