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Accident victims identified by police

Published November 04. 2009 05:00PM

Lehighton Police Officer Tyler Meek identified the people who were involved in an accident on Route 443 in Lehighton Sunday night. Driving the white Ford Explorer was Cindy Beidelman of Walnutport. Her passenger was her 5-year-old daughter, Tori. Driving the red Prelude was Barbara Koons of Pohopoco Drive, Lehighton. Koon's passenger was Debra Lauchnor.

The crash occurred along Route 443 just west of the McCall bridge.

According to police, Koons, driving the red Prelude, attempted to pull out of the Fegley minimart and make a left turn to go east on Route 443. In doing so she pulled into the path of the westbound white Ford Explorer driven by Beidelman.

Officer Meek said that the Explorer was traveling too fast when it struck the Prelude broadside sending it into a spin across the roadway and into a new car parked on the lot of Lehighton Chrysler. The Explorer at that point went airborne, landing on a Jeep Cherokee traveling east, driven by Jim Gurka, 23, of Summit Hill. The Explorer then rolled several times coming to rest on its wheels in the Beacon Diner parking lot. The driver of the car was trapped in the wreckage before being freed by members of the Lehighton Fire Department. A young girl, Beidleman's daugther was also removed by firefighters and transported to a hospital. Route 443 was closed to traffic for several hours.

Meek noted that Koons had been seriously hurt during the accident, but has been released from Lehigh Valley Hospital.

Meek was unsure if any charges will be filed.

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