Arkansas man dies in crash

Neighbor found truck after hearing noise

January 13, 2020 Cranberry Local News

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FORWARD TWP — An Arkansas man was killed in a single-vehicle crash early Sunday morning when his pickup truck traveled off Route 68, went down a hillside and over a culvert and ended up in a small stream in southern Butler County, authorities said.

Michael C. Cain Jr., 25, of El Dorado, Ark., died at the scene of the wreck that happened about 4:30 a.m. State police are investigating but it was not immediately known what caused the wreck.

Police said Cain was traveling west on Route 68 near Ash Avenue in the township when his 2014 Dodge Ram 1500 crossed the center line and left the south side of the road. The truck hit and went over a guardrail, landing on a hillside.

The pickup slid over a concrete culvert and came to rest at a slight angle — with the passenger side up — in the stream, authorities said.

A neighbor heard the crash and drove to the scene. He eventually found the wreckage and called 911, said Matt Otto, chief of the Evans City Volunteer Fire Department.

The truck was about 200 feet off the road and could not be seen by passing motorists.

“If the neighbor had not heard it,” Otto said, “the wreck probably wouldn't have been found until the first light of day because of the way the truck was positioned and how far down the hill it was.”

The victim was wearing a seat belt and he was still in the driver's seat when emergency crews found him. The truck was in about 2 feet of water and the air bags had deployed.

Firefighters initially accessed the vehicle through the windshield to check on the driver, who was not breathing and had no pulse. Harmony EMS medics also assisted.

Crews subsequently stabilized the pickup and cut off the roof to remove the body. Butler County Chief Deputy Coroner John Hanovick pronounced Cain dead at 5:25 a.m.

The cause of death was ruled “blunt force trauma to the head and chest.” No autopsy was performed but standard toxicology testing will be conducted, Hanovick said. There was no indication to suspect drugs or alcohol were involved.

It was not immediately clear what Cain was doing in Butler County.

A wrecker and flatbed had to be used to pull the truck up the hillside and onto the road.

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Jim Smith

Jim Smith

Grew up in upstate New York. Earned my Journalism degree in 1983 from the University of Texas at Austin. Worked for two newspapers in Fayette County (Pa.) before starting at the Butler Eagle in 1998.