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2 friends die in Lehigh accident

Published May 05. 2010 05:00PM

Two elderly Slatington women were killed Tuesday morning in a head-on crash.

State police at Bethlehem said the accident occurred about 9:25 a.m. along SR873 in North Whitehall Township.

Troopers said Mary Ellen Koch, 74, and Emma J. Sensinger, 83, both of Trout Creek Manor, at 425 Kuntz St., died as the result of injuries sustained in the crash. Koch was pronounced dead at the scene while Sensinger died later at the Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township. Another person in the car, Jean Gardner, 74, also of Trout Creek Manor, was seriously injured and was admitted to LVH in critical condition. Sensinger was a backseat passenger in the car and Gardner was in the front seat.

Reports from the scene said the three women were friends and made weekly shopping trips together.

According to troopers Koch was driving a Hyundai Elantra southbound when an oncoming Oldsmobile, operated by Robert G. Hetten III, 24, of Slatington, moved into her lane of travel and the two vehicles collided head-on.

Hetten was also seriously injured and was taken to LVH and admitted in critical condition.

Troopers are continuing their investigation into the accident.

Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim has scheduled autopsies for Thursday.

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