Icy conditions cause crash on Connector
STRONG - An accident at the Strong Connector Wednesday morning involving a car, pickup truck and van was attributed to icy road conditions, but police were unable to provide specific details or the identities of the occupants.
Mount Carmel Township Police Chief Brian Hollenbush reported Patrolman Brian Carnuccio is still investigating the 8:30 a.m. accident at the busy intersection of Routes 61 and 54 that forced traffic to be re-routed for about an hour.
The chief said a red Sierra truck, a Jetta and full-sized Ford van were involved in the accident that occurred as sleet pelted the area.
Hollenbush, who was en route to Sunbury with Mount Carmel Chief of Police Todd Owens to pick up inmates at the county jail for their preliminary hearings before Magisterial District Judge Hugh Jones, said, "It was a sheet of ice up here. The driving conditions were terrible."
He said police are still trying to determine how the accident occurred. The chief said the van contained license plates from three states, which has hampered efforts to identify the owner. He said other factors have hindered efforts to obtain an accurate account of the crash and the identities of the victims.
According to unconfirmed reports, the van went out of control and landed on a snowbank atop a guardrail along Route 54 facing Locust Gap. The pickup truck and car reportedly collided almost head-on in the southbound lane of Route 61.
Hollenbush said one of the victims complained of chest pain at the scene, while two others suffered facial lacerations from the deployment of air bags. He did not know if any of the occupants was transported to a hospital, but confirmed that none of the injuries were serious.
All three vehicles were towed from the scene by Dave's Auto Body of Shady Acres.
The scene was cleared at 9:42 a.m.
Assisting Mount Carmel Township police at the scene were Strong firefighters, Mount Carmel Area Rescue Squad, East End Fire Company of Kulpmont, AREA Services personnel and Mount Carmel police.