WEIGH SCALES - An Elysburg man is in fair condition and his wife in serious condition after being extricated from their mangled car that became sandwiched between a truck and another vehicle in an accident along Route 61 in front of Masser's Wayside Inn Monday afternoon.

A Shamokin woman also was injured in the 4:30 p.m. crash.

Ralpho Township Patrolman Christopher Grow reported Charles Klemanski Jr., 72, of Elysburg, was operating a red Chevrolet Malibu north on Route 61 toward Paxinos at 4:30 p.m. when he attempted to turn left into the parking lot at Masser's Wayside Inn. Grow said Klemanski drove into the path of a white Ford Escort driven south by April Slavinsky, of Shamokin, resulting in a T-bone collision.

Upon impact, Klemanski's car flipped over several times along the highway before being pushed by the front of the Escort into a stationary, black, 2008 GMC Sierra truck operated by Dan Shingara, 48, of Irish Valley, who was stopped for a stop sign in front of Masser's. Shingara was waiting to turn left to travel south on Route 61 when Klemanski's car crashed into the driver's side of his truck.

Couple pinned

Klemanski's car came to rest on its driver's side wedged between the Escort and truck near a sign for the business.

Klemanski and his wife, Evelyn, were pinned in the wreckage for approximately 25 minutes before emergency personnel were able to extricate them. They were treated at the scene before being transported by Elysburg and AREA Services ambulances to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.

Slavinsky suffered less serious injuries and was treated by emergency medical personnel while sitting on a nearby curb. She was later taken by AREA Services to Geisinger-Shamokin Area Community Hospital, where she underwent emergency room treatment before being released.

Shingara, who escaped injury, said he was working as a subcontractor at the Shamokin-Coal Township Joint Sewer Authority plant when he witnessed the cars collide. "I saw the red car on its side being pushed by the white car like a dozer," he said. "The next thing I knew, the red car crashed into the driver's side of my truck."

Witnesses help

After the crash, Shingara, owner-operator of Dan Shingara Enterprises Inc., Route 61, Paxinos, said he exited his truck and attempted to offer aid to the occupants of the Malibu, but couldn't reach them because they were trapped inside.

Earl Moore, 54, of Bloomsburg, who was traveling north in the passing lane of Route 61 behind Klemanski's car, said he spotted Klemanski's vehicle pull into the path of Slavinsky's car while attempting to turn left.

"The red vehicle flipped several times and hit the truck sitting at the stop sign," Moore said. "I then called 911 and came over to assist."

Joey and Tiffany Baskin, of Coal Township, also witnessed the accident while traveling south on Route 61 a short distance behind Slavinsky's car. They also told police the Malibu pulled in front of the Escort, causing the collision.

The Baskins, who were on their way home from Sunbury, stopped at the scene to render aid to the occupants of the vehicles.

Grow said the accident remains under investigation.

Investigation continues

Northumberland County Deputy Sheriff Henry Schrader, who is a retired Coal Township policeman, was the first law enforcement officer to come upon the accident and called 911 before directing traffic along the busy thoroughfare. Schrader said he was on his way to Shamokin Police Station to drop off court papers when he spotted the crash.

Within minutes, Grow, Coal Township Deputy Police Chief Chris Williams, Coal Township Patrolman Joshua Wynn and Shamokin Patrolmen Mark Costa and William Zalinski arrived at the scene and began checking on the condition of the victims, interviewing witnesses and evaluating the damage.

Both cars were towed from the scene, which was cleared at 5:40 p.m. Shingara's truck sustained damage to its driver's side, but did not need to be towed.

Also assisting were members of Elysburg and Ralpho fire companies, Elysburg Ambulance, AREA Services Ambulance, Shamokin Emergency Squad and fire police.MIKE STAUGAITIS/Staff Photo