MERCER CO., Pa. (WKBN) – A multi-vehicle crash early Friday morning resulted in four people injured with one in critical condition after jumping off the bridge into the river below to avoid traffic, according to Chief Justin Barnes of the Shenango Township Fire Department.
The two-vehicle crash on I-80 eastbound happened near the state line, close to the I-376 interchange, just before 2 a.m. Friday morning.
Barnes told First News there were a total of five people involved in the crash, two of whom jumped over the bridge into the Shenango River below to avoid traffic, which Barnes described as regular at the time. One of the people managed to swim out of the water themselves while the other was rescued approximately 60 yards south of the bridge by fire crews. Water rescue was called to the scene but both people in the river were out before its arrival.
The person who had to be rescued was transported via helicopter to Saint Elizabeth Health Center for treatment and is in critical but stable condition, according to Barnes. Two additional people involved in the crash were also transported to St. Elizabeth for care.
There was a temporary one-lane restriction and traffic was backed up for miles, but all lanes have since reopened.
Hanna Erdmann and Brian Oehlbeck contributed to this report.