Accident investigators believe that the woman who was driving the minivan that crashed in northern Butler County, killing two others and herself and injuring two children, had fallen asleep at the wheel.
Police based their theory on a statement from one of the survivors who reportedly made a phone call to her grandparents, saying “Mommy passed out and wrecked the van.”
31 year-old Kimberly McLaughlin, from McKees Rocks, and 42 year-old Terry Cramer and three year-old Terry Cramer III, from Coraopolis, died in the crash on Wednesday evening. McLaughlin’s daughters, ages 11 and 1, were injured. The oldest girl was taken to Butler Memorial Hospital, and the infant was flown to Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital.
State Police at the Butler station had reported that the crash occurred on Centerville Pike in Brady Township, between Route 8 and Slippery Rock. The minivan apparently crossed the center line of the highway, and traveled off the opposite side of the road. It clipped a tree stump and then slammed into another tree.