Accident claims county woman
A Columbiana County woman was killed Sunday when the motorcycle she was operating collided with an SUV along state Route 51 in Fayette County, Pa.
According to a report received from the Pennsylvania State Police, the Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by Joyce McKinney, 61, of Columbiana, crashed head-on with a Jeep Grand Cherokee operated by James Hickle, 78, of West Leisenring, Pa.
The accident occurred around 12:20 p.m. on Route 51, near Pittsburgh Road, in North Union Township, about 90 miles southeast of East Liverpool. McKinney was traveling north in the southbound lane state police reported, before striking the SUV head-on.
She was flown via medical helicopter to UPMC-Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, where she was pronounced dead, according to the report.
Hickle, who reportedly was unable to avoid a crash, suffered minor injuries.
Robert McKinney, 75, also operating a Harley Davidson motorcycle, was involved in the accident as well, as he crashed into the initial wreckage created by the first collision, state police reported. He, too, was flown to UPMC-Presbyterian, reportedly with injuries termed in the report as moderate and non life-threatening.
Trooper Stefani A. Plume of the Uniontown station of the Pennsylvania State Police said the McKinneys were traveling in the wrong direction on Route 51 when the accident took place.
Although the accident remains under investigation, and the report states “unknown reasons” for the direction of travel, Plume said the initial belief is the McKinneys had stopped along their travels, possibly at a nearby gas station which basically divides the northbound and southbound lanes of Route 51, and being unfamiliar with the area, returned to the roadway headed in the wrong direction.
The McKinneys both were wearing helmets at this time of the accident, while Hickle was wearing a seatbelt.
The roadway was closed for roughly two hours as three area fire departments, as well as an EMS unit, assisted at the scene. All three vehicles received severe damage and were towed from the scene.
The McKinneys are associated with McKinney’s Furniture with locations in Calcutta, Salem, Canton, Alliance and Monaca, Pa.