Girardville man dies in I-81 crash
MAHANOY CITY - A Girardville man died when the pickup truck he was driving crashed on I-81 sometime late Thursday or early Friday.
James Kelly, 70, of Duck Street, was pronounced dead at the scene at 7:45 a.m. Friday by Schuylkill County Deputy Coroner Andrew Szczlglak, Shenandoah. Szczlglak said an autopsy will be performed at 8 a.m. today at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest to determine how Kelly died.
State police Trooper Vincent Laselva of the Schuylkill Haven station said the crash occurred between 7:30 p.m. Thursday and 6:40 a.m. Friday in the southbound lanes of the interstate near mile marker 130 in Mahanoy Township.
Laselva said Kelly was driving a 2001 Ford Ranger south when he went off the highway into a construction zone.
The truck struck a generator and then a bridge abutment, causing it to become airborne and travel over the side of the bridge, Laselva said.
The truck then spun clockwise in the air and came to a stop facing west with its left front tire resting on the bridge, the trooper said.
Kelly's body was found about 50 feet down an embankment alongside a concrete bridge pillar off the Burma Road that goes under the interstate, Laselva said.
Mahanoy City EMS was initially called to the scene initially for a report of a man in cardiac arrest, but later learned Kelly was the victim of the crash.
Personnel at the scene said Kelly's body was discovered by a construction worker who reported for work at the site Friday morning.
The pickup truck hung with the tire on the bridge and back bumper embedded in the dirt of the embankment that connects I-81 and Burma Road.
Assisting Laselva at the scene were state police troopers from the Frackville station.