Police Release Name of Driver Pulled Out of Burning Truck

MADISON TWP., Pa. (EYT) – State Police in Clarion have released additional details surrounding a January 2 accident that shut down a portion of Route 861 for nearly six hours.

Photo by Rusty Hartzell.

Police say the crash occurred around 4:06 p.m. when, for unknown reasons, Michael Wiant, of Rimersburg, lost control of his International Harvester truck while traveling west on State Route 861 in the area of Hawk Hill.

Wiant’s truck struck the guide rail on the north berm and then struck a utility pole, snapping it in half.

After impact, Wiant’s truck rolled down an embankment and landed in a creek before bursting into flames.

A witness on the scene told exploreClarion.com that Wiant was helped out of the burning vehicle by a passerby.

According to the witness, Wiant was on fire when he was pulled out of the cab, at which point the passerby assisted him in extinguishing the fire using water from the stream.

Wiant was flown by STAT MedEvac to UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh for treatment of major injuries.

According to a family member, Wiant’s injuries included two fractured vertebras, a broken rib, and 3rd degree burns covering 21% of his body. He also suffered a head injury which required several staples to close the wound.

Clarion-based State Police were also assisted by Rimersburg VFD, Sligo VFD, Southern Clarion County Ambulance, Clarion County EMA, Bauer Truck Repair, and Central Electric.

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