A Schuylkill County driver was killed and his passenger seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash that occurred early Wednesday evening in which speed was a factor.

State police at Schuylkill Haven said the crash occurred about 6:13 p.m. along Route 209, just south of Payton Street, in East Norwegian Township.

Troopers said Christopher Gibas, 41, of Pottsville, was driving a 1999 Jeep Cherokee southbound at a high rate of speed when he lost control. The Jeep went onto the west berm, traveled about 212 feet, and then became airborne.

The Jeep then struck a tree with the left side. After impact the Jeep flipped over onto its roof and came to find rest facing southwest along the west berm.

Gibas was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, Rick J. Reilly, 48, also of Pottsville, was flown to the Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township.

Troopers said the road was closed in both directions for about two hours during the investigation and the removal of the Jeep.