JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — A 43-year-old Johnstown woman was struck and killed Tuesday as she crossed Scalp Avenue, Richland Township police said.
While an investigation was still ongoing on Tuesday, Richland Township Police Chief Michael Burgan said surveillance cameras showed the woman ‘going out’ onto the road’s westbound lanes from the parking lot from McDonald’s.
“The motorist saw her at the last second and tried to stop, but it was too late,” Burgan said, calling the incident “tragic.”
Cambria County Coroner Jeffrey Lees said Michelle Gilliland, 43, died in the emergency room at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center after being transported from the scene.
An autopsy showed she died of blunt force trauma to her neck and head.
Police don’t know why Gilliland was crossing the road, but a bus stop is located along the east side of Scalp Avenue.
The woman’s bus pass was found on the road at the scene of the collision, Burgan said.
A traffic light is located approximately 200 feet east of this location on Scalp Avenue. But Burgan said investigation showed he was green when the motorist crossed.
“It is a tragedy for the family of the deceased as well as for the driver,” he said. “You never want to see something like this happen.”
He said pedestrians are advised to use crosswalks at intersections to reduce the risk of danger from crossing.
The crash closed the stretch of road for more than three hours on Tuesday so a state police crash reconstruction team could map the scene and collect evidence. The investigation unit will issue a final report to township police to allow officers to make a final decision, Burgan said.
“But at this point it seems like an accident,” he said.
David Hurst is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @TDDavidHurst.