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Indiana County gas station worker killed when driver hits pump, sparks fire

July 6, 2018
Indiana County gas station worker killed when driver hits pump, sparks fire
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Emergency crews respond after a car crashes into a gasoline pump, igniting a fire on Thursday, July 5, 2018, at a service station in Rayne Township, Indiana County.

Indiana County Coroner Jerry Overman has identified a 52-year-old woman from Commodore who was killed Thursday afternoon when a car crashed into two gas pumps and an Indiana County service station, and the vehicle and building burst into flames.

Melissa Ann Myers was working at Pikel’s Top Tier Fuels station in Rayne Township when the crash and fire trapped her inside the building at about 1:18 p.m., Overman said. She was pronounced dead at 2:18 p.m.

She was found deceased at the rear of the building, according to Trooper Cliff Greenfield, public information officer for state police Troop A at the Indiana County barracks.

An autopsy was performed, but the cause and manner of the death remained under investigation, Overman said.

Funeral arrangements were being handled by the Robinson-Lytle Funeral Home in Indiana.

State police took into custody two men who were inside the vehicle but did not release their names because criminal charges might be filed.

The cause of the crash and the subsequent fire at routes 85 and 119 both are under investigation. The car was destroyed and the building had “significant damage,” according to Greenfield.

Police were attempting to determine which of the men was driving the station wagon north on Route 119. According to Overman and police, the car failed to negotiate a curve, struck a curb, went into the parking lot and struck the pumps before hitting the front wall of the building with its passenger side. The car came to rest outside the building, according to Greenfield.

Greenfield did not have details about injuries the men in the car may have suffered, but he noted they were “less than severe.”

One of the men, taken into custody at the scene, was taken to Indiana Regional Medical Center for treatment.

The other was sought by police after fleeing on foot north along Route 119. Local and state police in Punxsutawney took him into custody later that afternoon at a home in Punxsutawney.

Traffic was shut down for several hours on Route 85 and was restricted on Route 119 as firefighters from Marion Center, Plumville and Clymer doused the flames and police investigated.

State police have asked that anyone who witnessed the crash contact the Indiana County barracks at 724-357-1960.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, jhimler@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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