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Elderly driver seriously injured

Published February 08. 2010 05:00PM

An elderly driver was seriously injured in a crash along Interstate 81 in Delano Township, Schuylkill County. It was one of two crashes in the same area of the interstate that occurred within 15 minutes of each other and was caused by blowing and drifting snow.

State police at Frackville said Michael Wanchick Jr., 74, of Hazle Township, was driving a 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis northbound about 11:05 a.m. and entering the area of the first crash. His vehicle slid on the ice and spun off the road about two feet from the first crash, almost striking state troopers and emergency responders, who were at the scene.

The Mercury then entered a ditch on the right side and struck an embankment which caused it to flip over onto its roof trapping Wanchick inside. He was extricated by rescue personnel and taken to a baseball field in Delano where he was then transported by medevac helicopter to the Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township. Damages were major to the car.

The first crash occurred about 10:45 a.m. as Martin Holm, 58, of Plainfield, Ill., was driving a 2004 Volvo S40 northbound and hit an area of blowing and drifting snow. His vehicle slid on the ice and spun off the road and then entered a ditch, struck an embankment and flipped over onto its roof.

Holm and passengers Andrew Holm, 14, Amber Holm, 14, and Nancy Ann Holm, 49, were all not injured. Damages were moderate to the car.

Troopers cited Holm for driving on roadways laned for traffic.

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