Two people killed in wrong-way crash on Route 28
Updated: Apr 6, 2017 - 9:07 PM
PITTSBURGH - Two people were killed early Thursday in a wrong-way crash on Route 28 that closed a section of the road during the morning rush hour.
The crash was reported just after 3:30 a.m. between the 31st Street Bridge and the Heinz plant.
Police believe the driver of a Kia was outbound in the inbound lanes and struck a Honda head-on. The driver of the Kia, Sidney Cope, 24, of Coraopolis, was killed.
The driver of the Honda, Clara Roberts, 24, of Indiana, was taken to a hospital, where she also died.
"They were both transported to AGH in critical condition," said Emily Shaffer, a spokeswoman for Pittsburgh police. "The first victim was pronounced deceased shortly after 6 this morning, the second shortly after 8 this morning."
Roberts was headed to the airport to catch a flight home.
"True to form, family first, she was going home to Texas to see her family for the holiday," said Roberts' colleague, Vince Mercuri. "She was trying to beat the morning rush hour."
Roberts worked in Indiana, Pennsylvania, as a crisis intervention specialist. She was recently accepted to New York University to pursue a law degree.
"She was a tremendous worker, a tremendous person. She's going to be sadly and desperately missed by us at the Open Door," Mercuri said.
Traffic was detoured off Route 28 at the 40th Street Bridge while the accident scene was cleared. All lanes reopened just before 6:30 a.m.
"It caused (a) major traffic incident, and obviously we want to get to the bottom of it," said Dan Cessna of PennDOT. "Any time we have an accident that involves a wrong-way driver, we want to get to the bottom of it. Where did this person get confused, what was the cause of factors that led to the incident, and we will do a full investigation."
The entrance to Route 28 has three signs warning drivers who are going the wrong way. Investigators have not said why Cope either didn't see or ignored the warnings, but Cessna said changes could be made to the road after the investigation.
"We want to get to the bottom of it," Cessna said. "Where did this person get confused? What were the cause and factors that led to the accident?"
From the facebook pages of suspected drunk or drugged driver Sidney Cope
An apparent wrong-way crash on Route 28 early Thursday morning left two women dead, according to police.
The crash happened just after 3:30 a.m. between the 31st Street Bridge and the Heinz Plant, according to Public Safety spokeswoman Emily Schaffer. Officers arrived and found a Kia and Honda involved in a head-on crash with the drivers trapped in both vehicles.
Both women were extricated and taken to Allegheny General Hospital where the driver of the Kia — identified as Sidney Cope, 24, of Coraopolis — was pronounced dead, Schaffer said.
The driver of the Honda — Clara Katherine Roberts, 24, of Pearland, Texas — was pronounced dead several hours later.
Investigators suspect the Kia was heading outbound on Route 28 in an inbound lane and struck the Honda, Schaffer said. The Accident Investigation Unit is continuing to investigate.
The crash shut down Route 28 for several hours. The road reopened about 6:30 a.m.