At Least 5 Killed When Van Carrying Mental Health Patients Crashes in Pennsylvania

A tractor-trailer collided with a van carrying people from a mental health facility on Thursday, killing five people and injuring seven others.

Witnesses told investigators the van stopped at an intersection and then pulled right in front of the tractor-trailer, Washington County Coroner Tim Warco said. The van ended up on its side and against a building with its roof crushed.

The crash happened about 10 a.m. in Somerset Township, about 30 miles south of Pittsburgh.

Warco said two bodies had been removed from the van and emergency crews were working to remove two more.

Seven people were taken to hospitals; some were reported in stable condition but the conditions of others was not immediately available.

The van was believed to be carrying residents of a group home in Bentleyville. A man who answered the phone at the Mental Health Association of Washington County in Bentleyville said they were "going through a crisis situation and can't take this call."

The tractor-trailer was owned by Stocker Trucking Co. in Gnadenhutten, Ohio. A man who answered the phone at the company said, "At the moment we're still investigating this and I have no comment."

The van was pinned against a storage building owned by C.R. Augenstein Inc., a home gas and oil delivery business. Chuck Augenstein, the company's retired owner, was called to the scene by neighbors who heard the crash.

"There's an accident here at least twice a month," he said, adding that none had been fatal before Thursday.