Police work to identify I-81 crash victim

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DELANO — State police are still working to positively identify a man who died when he was ejected from an SUV and was run over by several other vehicles on Interstate 81 Sunday night.

Due to the severity of the man’s injuries, Schuylkill County Coroner Dr. David Moylan said fingerprints were taken Monday in order to try and confirm his identity. A tattoo that the man had may also be helpful in making a positive identification, he said.

Trooper Michael Marinchak said the crash occurred around 8:50 p.m. in the area of mile marker 135.1 in Delano Township.

The trooper said that another man was ejected from the 1999 Ford Expedition. He was found a short distance away from the vehicle with serious, life threatening injuries. He was treated at the scene by Ryan Township EMS personnel, set aboard the PennStar helicopter and flown to the trauma center at Reading Hospital.
Since both northbound lanes were shut down, the medical helicopter landed on the roadway close to the injured man.

Marinchak said it has not been determined whether the man who was killed or the injured man was driving at the time of the crash.

He said the driver was heading north in the left lane when the SUV veered northwest and went onto the berm. It struck an embankment and overturned coming to a stop on its passenger’s side.

Marinchak said both men were thrown from the vehicle, one landing on a rock embankment behind the SUV, the other in the left northbound lane of the highway.

The man on the highway was struck by “multiple vehicles,” Marinchak said. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:30 p.m. by Schuylkill County Deputy Coroner David Truskowsky, Mahanoy City. Deputy Coroner

Andrew Szczyglak of Shenandoah assisted with the investigation.

Marinchak said neither man was wearing a seat belt.

The northbound lanes of Interstate 81 were closed for more than four hours finally re-opening just after 2 a.m.

In addition to Ryan Township EMS, firefighters from Ryan Township, Delano, McAdoo and Quakake assisted at the scene.

Northbound traffic was diverted off of the interstate at the Delano exit by Rush Township Fire Police while Mahanoy City firefighters and fire police northbound traffic onto Route 54 at the Mahanoy City exit.

In addition to troopers from the Frackville station, accident reconstruction expert Trooper John Minalda investigated the crash and the scene was processed by the state police Forensic Services Unit based at Troop L headquarters in Reading.

Marinchak said additional information will be made available as the investigation continues.

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