Brockway Man Killed in Three-vehicle Accident in Washington Township
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP – A 79-year-old Brockway man was killed after a three-vehicle accident that occurred at 4:50 p.m. Wednesday on state Route 219 in Washington Township.
The DuBois-based state police identified the man as Clarence L. Anderson, 79, of Brockway. He was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident. Anderson was pronounced dead at the scene by the Jefferson County Coroner.
Matthew K. Heitzenrater, 32, of Brockway was traveling northbound on SR 219 in his tractor-trailer. A van driven by Anderson and a car by Brandon L. Lewis, 19, of Brockway were traveling southbound on SR 219. Anderson was ahead of the Lewis vehicle.
Heitzenrater applied his brakes, which caused his tractor-trailer to jack-knife on the wet roadway. His tractor-trailer began sliding northward across the roadway in a counter-clockwise motion. At that point, the Heitzenrater tractor-trailer struck the driver’s side of Anderson’s van, forcing it onto the west berm against the guiderails.
The Heitzenrater tractor-trailer continued traveling northbound while jack-knifed. Lewis attempted to avoid the tractor-trailer by applying his brakes and steering rightward. However, Heitzenrater’s rear truck cab struck his front driver’s side and also forced it into the west berm against the guiderails.
Lewis sustained minor injuries in the accident; Heitzenrater wasn’t injured. Both were wearing their seatbelts when the accident occurred. All three vehicles sustained severe damage.
SR 219 was blocked due to the accident and subsequently closed for five hours. State police were assisted by the Brockway and Falls Creek fire departments and the Brockway Ambulance.