Janet Paisley Smoldon, 42, a Tamaqua teacher, from West Penn Township, is in stable but critical condition in St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem following a head-on collision that occurred around 7 a.m. yesterday along West Penn Pike (SR309) in West Penn Township.
According to West Penn Township Police Chief Brian Johnson, the driver of the other car, Jeffery J. Spare, 36, of Hazle Township, was driving with a suspended license for DUI. He was driving south on SR309 in the northbound lane when he just missed a Tamaqua school bus heading northbound.
Spare, driving a 2010 Chevy Malibu, then drove head-on into Smoldon, who was driving behind the bus. Reportedly, the school bus driver told police that Spare's car was traveling about 40 miles per hour in the other lane, just barely missing the back of his student-filled school bus.
Rescue personnel had to use hydraulic equipment on both vehicles to extricate both Smoldon and Spare.
Spare is currently admitted in the Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown in moderate condition. West Penn Police ordered a blood test on him and are expected to charge Spare with multiple offenses.
Johnson added that Spare said he doesn't remember anything concerning the accident.
Smoldon serves as the Tamaqua High School Drama Club adviser and has been a volunteer for numerous performing arts activities at the Strawberry Playhouse and throughout the community.