Two Carbon County residents, including a member of the Panther Valley School Board, were killed, and two others seriously injured, in a one-vehicle crash that occurred early Sunday morning.
State police at Hazleton said alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.
Troopers identified the victims as Rebecca Ann Pilla, 44, front seat passenger, and Richard L. Zabroski, 45, a rear passenger, both of Nesquehoning. They were pronounced dead at the scene. Zabroski is a member of the Panther Valley School Board.
Seriously injured was the driver, Richard Mark Matsick, 47, and rear seat passenger, Julie M. Williams, 45, both also of Nesquehoning.
Troopers said the crash occurred about 4 a.m. along Fire Tower Road, six-tenths of a mile west of Dennison Road, in Packer Township, near the top of the Broad Mountain north of Nesquehoning. The accident occurred on private property, troopers noted.
Troopers said Matsick was driving a 2001 Toyota 4Runner sport utility vehicle eastbound at a high rate of speed. Matsick lost control of the vehicle, overcorrected steering, and traveled off the south side of the road.
After leaving the road the Toyota struck a tree with its front end. After initial impact the vehicle spun clockwise and came to rest on the road.
County Coroner Bruce Nalesnik said autopsies were scheduled this morning on the two victims at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township.
Troopers were assisted at the scene by members of the Nesquehoning and Hauto fire companies, as well as police from Nesquehoning and Lansford.
Troopers noted none of the victims were wearing seat belts. Damages to the Toyota were termed major.
The investigation into the crash is continuing, troopers added.