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New light, old dangers

  • LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Electronic signs warn drivers on Route 443 of the new traffic signals at the Normal Square intersection, left, and at Fritz Valley and Mill roads in Mahoning Township, right.
    LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Electronic signs warn drivers on Route 443 of the new traffic signals at the Normal Square intersection, left, and at Fritz Valley and Mill roads in Mahoning Township, right.
Published December 29. 2009 05:00PM

Mahoning Township police have identified the woman killed in a two-vehicle crash on Route 443 at Normal Square Monday morning as Linda Faye Huynh, 62, of Coaldale.

Huynh, according to police, was traveling north on Mill Road at about 8 a.m. toward the Normal Square traffic light at the intersection of Rt. 443, Mill Road and Fritz Valley Road. An ambulance belonging to Regional EMS and Critical Care of Lehighton was heading west on Route 443.

Huynh's 2005 Dodge minivan and the van-type ambulance were involved in what Mahoning Township Police Chief Kenneth Barnes described as a "T-bone" collision in the westbound lane of Route 443.

The ambulance was not on an emergency call at the time of the crash, Barnes has said.

Police were dispatched at 8:03 a.m. Huynh was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy is scheduled to be performed today, county coroner Bruce Nalesnik said.

The ambulance driver, Eugene Michael Crostley, 36, of Lehighton, was taken to Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital, Lehighton, where he was examined and released.

The accident is still under investigation. Police are aware there were witnesses to the accident and are asking they please contact the Mahoning Township Police Department at (570) 386-2241.

At the urging of police, two electronic blinking signs were placed by PennDOT after the crash, on Rt. 443, warning drivers of the new traffic signal.

Police were assisted at the scene by the Mahoning Valley Fire Department and fire police; the Lehighton Fire Department and fire police and the Mahoning Valley and Lehighton ambulance services. The county communications center assisted all emergency services responding to and at the scene.

The traffic signals were activated about two weeks ago to make the intersection safer. It has been the scene of numerous crashes. Before the signals, there were blinking red lights for traffic exiting Fritz Valley and Mill roads onto Route 443. Blinking yellow lights warned travelers on Route 443 of the intersection.

Huynh, of East High Street, the wife of George Van Huynh, was a social worker for St. Luke's Hospice in Carbon County. She was a member of First Congregational Church, Coaldale, where she taught Sunday School, served as a Youth Group adviser, helped coordinate the Kid's Club, served on the Outreach Committee, sang in the choir and helped coordinate the Jesus Fest.

A full obituary appears on page 4.

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