CLARION TWP., PA – Clarion-based State Police say a two-vehicle crash occurred early Friday morning on Interstate 80 West, at mile marker 66.6, in Clarion Township.
According to police, the accident occurred around 2:29 a.m. It involved 25-year-old Bizimungu Francois, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and 34-year-old Avrohom Gruen., of Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
Police say a 2012 Freightliner Acadia tractor-trailer, driven by Francois, was disabled from a previous crash, facing south. The truck was turned over on its passenger’s side, and the trailer was blocking both westbound lanes of I-80 in front of mile marker 66.6.
Gruen was traveling westbound in a 2008 Honda Odyssey in the right lane when he came upon the tractor-trailer in the westbound lanes.
The van hit the trailer, penetrating halfway into the unit causing multiple air bags to deploy, as well as severe damage to the front of the vehicle.
The van came to a final rest facing westbound, still lodged inside the trailer.
Francois was not injured.
Gruen suffered injuries and was wearing a seat belt.
Five children in Gruen’s van suffered serious injuries and had to be taken by medivac to the hospital.
All occupants of the van were transported to medical facilities, including Children’s Hospital.
One individual was later flown by STAT MedEvac from Clarion Hospital.
According to a representative of Clarion County Office of Emergency Services, Clarion-based State Police; Shippenville-Elk Volunteer Fire Department; Clarion Fire & Hose Company #1; Corsica Volunteer Fire Department; Southern Clarion County Ambulance; Clarion Hospital Ambulance; Shippenville Ambulance; Knox Ambulance; Jefferson County EMS, and two STAT MedEvac’s were dispatched to the scene.
A portion of I-80 West was closed on Friday morning as a result of the collision.
Police are looking into why there were no closures after the initial accident or flares to warn drivers of the first accident. The investigation is ongoing.
Everyone is asked to please daven (pray) for the children who are in very critical condition.
*Leah Hadassah bas Michal Chana (11-years-old)
*Chava bas Michal Chana (7-years-old)
*Yocheved Rivka bas Michal Chana (5-years-old)
*Gedalya Dovid Ben Michal Chana