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Driver sought after truck crashes into creek near Zelienople

July 10, 2018 News Extra

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Harmony Fire District volunteers found a Chevrolet S-10 in the creek after a crash this morning near Zelienople.

Police and firefighters are searching for the suspected driver who crashed his pickup truck through a guardrail and into a creek early this morning on a road off Route 68 in Zelienople near the Jackson Township line.

A wooded area along Gudekunst Road in Jackson Township was the focus of the search as of 8 a.m., according to authorities.

Police are using cell-phone technology to track the man's movements.

“We're pinging his phone,” said Zelienople Police Chief Jim Miller, “and we think he may be in the woods. We're just trying to figure out where he is.”

The 45-year-old man lives near those woods, which are west of Route 19, authorities noted. He owns the truck.

Jackson Township police and the Harmony Fire District are helping in the search.

A passing motorist came upon the wreck on Muntz Run Road about 4:20 a.m. and called 911. The caller reported seeing a damaged guardrail.

Harmony Fire District volunteers later found a Chevrolet S-10 in the creek. It appeared the truck had traveled down a hillside and into the creek, about 15 feet off the road.

“It was in 4 to 4 feet of water, said Rob Reeb, the department's deputy fire chief.

The driver's door was opened but no one was around, he said. Firefighters searched the creek but to no avail.

The truck's air bags had deployed and there was front-end damage to the vehicle.

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Jim Smith

Jim Smith

Grew up in upstate New York. Earned my Journalism degree in 1983 from the University of Texas at Austin. Worked for two newspapers in Fayette County (Pa.) before starting at the Butler Eagle in 1998.