A 91-year-old woman was killed Saturday morning when a pickup truck struck her as she crossed 17th Street, police said.
The Altoona woman, whose identity has not been released, died after the truck's driver slammed his brakes in an attempt to avoid her, an investigating officer said. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the 11:30 a.m. crash near 4D's Lounge and the Grant Avenue intersection.
Minutes after the crash, firefighters laid blankets around the red 1994 Toyota, its hood crumpled from the collision and the victim still underneath. The visibly distraught driver, a 44-year-old East Freedom man, was set to receive crisis counseling, Altoona Police Sgt. Dan DeAntonio said.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Altoona and State Police investigate a fatal
vehicle-pedestrian accident along the 500 block of 17th Street in Altoona on Saturday afternoon.
The truck was in the right lane heading southeast on 17th Street when the driver saw the woman, who used a cane while crossing the heavily trafficked road, police said. He hit the brakes but couldn't stop in time on the damp road, DeAntonio said.
"He observed her a little too late," DeAntionio said.
While there's no crosswalk at the point she was struck, the woman wasn't necessarily violating any laws by crossing there, DeAntonio said. Police haven't determined whether they'll file charges against the driver, he said.
Signs warning pedestrians not to cross are posted farther southeast along 17th Street.
Neighbors described hearing a "thump" about 11:30 a.m., then emerging to find the woman's cane and identification scattered in the street. An off-duty Logan Township police officer witnessed the crash, DeAntonio said.
A passing doctor stopped to help, but it was immediately clear the woman had been killed, neighbors along Grant Avenue said.
Investigators did not find any evidence that the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, officers said in a news release.
Traffic was blocked for at least an hour as officers reconstructed the crash. Cars clogged neighboring South 19th Street until emergency workers left the area.
Police said the woman's family has been notified. Her name will be released in the coming days, DeAntonio said.
Mirror Staff Writer Ryan Brown is at 946-7457.