A 19-year-old woman driving on the Parkway West late Monday night died after a wheel came off a vehicle traveling in the other direction and smashed through her windshield.
Katie Puwalowski of Pittsburgh suffered “major injuries” in the crash near the Carnegie exit shortly after 11 p.m., state police said.
She was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital and pronounced dead at 12:35 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Allegheny County medical examiner's office.
Police said Puwalowski was incapacitated by the tire and a passenger in her car, who was not seriously injured, had to take control of the wheel and guide it to a stop.
Police said 18-year-old David Praskovich Jr., the driver of the westbound Jeep that lost its tire, was not injured during the incident. said the tire bounced over the concrete median barrier and caused severe damage to the eastbound vehicle.
“It’s pretty unfortunate,” Kauer said. “The passenger was out walking. Had some lacerations, but they were minor.”
While state police were trying to take control of the scene, two tractor-trailers traveling west crashed, causing more problems for emergency responders. Neither truck driver was injured in the crash.
Emergency crews closed Parkway West for about three hours and detoured cars off the highway using the Green Tree and Carnegie exits.
State police are continuing to investigate the crash.