Young driver was cited in motorcycle rear-ending
RALPHO TOWNSHIP - Police have cited the teen driver of a Jeep Cherokee that rammed into a motorcycle and critically injured a Pennsylvania Army National Guardsman this summer along Route 61.
Ralpho Township Patrolman Stephen Spade confirmed Thursday he filed a citation for careless driving against the 17-year-old Shamokin girl at the end of July at
the office of Magisterial District Judge Hugh Jones, Mount Carmel.
The citation wasn't public knowledge. Just Saturday, even the victim of the accident, Cory Thompson, 29, of Shamokin, didn't know about it. He told a reporter that day he thought the driver should be charged.
Police had not issued a press release about the citation. The News-Item reports on police filings at the magistrate court, but does not check for those involving summary citations.
Spade wouldn't identify the operator because of her age, and district judges are permitted to withhold the release of case files of minors charged with summary offenses.
Thompson was released from Geisinger HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, Danville, Thursday, more than seven weeks after the July 13 crash. He was originally in critical condition, and his family was told by doctors early on there was "nothing they could do" about his injuries, which included a badly damaged liver and internal bleeding. But Thompson survived through multiple surgeries and procedures. He still faces a long road to recovery, his mother said Saturday, including more surgeries, one that will remove pins from a hip broken in the accident.
Spade said now that Thompson is out of the hospital, he'll interview him prior to wrapping up his investigation, but he expects no further charges against the driver of the car.
Thompson was riding a Harley-Davidson in the northbound left lane of Route 61 about 5:45 p.m. that day. He had slowed as he approached the intersection with Bridge Street, the entrance to The Wayside. He was struck by the Cherokee, which Thompson had passed moments before.
Spade clarified a previous statement about Thompson, just prior to the crash, having "interacted" with another motorist in the right northbound lane who had also slowed. Spade said the interaction was merely a wave and it had nothing to do with the crash.
The driver of the Jeep and two female passengers from Coal Township weren't injured.
Thompson is a member of the U.S. Army Pennsylvania National Guard, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 103rd Armor Regiment. He had served at least four tours in the Middle East, with missions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Several fund-raising events have been held for Thompson to offset medical expenses, with a theme of "Cory Strong" developed by his supporters.