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Crashes probed

Published January 24. 2011 05:00PM

State police at Fern Ridge reported investigating several crashes that occurred recently.

A one-vehicle crash occurred about 7 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 23, along SR115 at Old White Haven Lane, in Buck Township, Luzerne County.

Troopers said Doreen MacDonald, 54, of Wilkes-Barre, was driving a 1997 Volkswagen northbound and fell asleep at the wheel. The vehicle traveled off the road and struck a snow bank and then a utility pole.

MacDonald sustained a minor injury in the crash, troopers said. The vehicle had to be towed from the scene.

Troopers investigated two crashes on Jan. 13, both on Interstate 80 in Tunkhannock Township, Monroe County, and just eight minutes apart. The first crash was at 6:02 a.m. as Katelyn B. Karam, 20, of Centereach, N.Y., was driving a 2001 GMC Yukon westbound and going too fast for conditions, troopers said. The vehicle slid off the road and continued about 125 feet along the berm before striking a tree with the front end.

A passenger, Ashley N. Messina, 20, of Holtsville, N.Y., who was not wearing a seat belt, was flown by medevac helicopter to the Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township, for treatment of what troopers termed were major injuries. Karam sustained a minor injury and was taken by ambulance to the Geisinger Wyoming Medical Center, Plains Township.

Karam was cited for traveling on roadways laned for traffic.

The second crash occurred at 6:10 a.m. as Elizabeth A. Howard, 26, of White Haven, was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Malibu eastbound when she lost control on some icy patches on the road. The car went onto the berm and struck a snow bank where it came to rest.

Howard was not injured.

Troopers investigated a crash on Jan. 21 about 2:27 p.m. along Silver Valley Road, in Chesnuthill Township, Monroe County. Troopers said Scott D. Smith, 23, of Blakeslee, was driving a 1997 Honda Civic southbound while Necla Kasal, 46, of Gilbert, was northbound, driving a 1996 Ford Explorer. Troopers said Smith lost control of his vehicle as he approached a bridge, entered the northbound lane and collided into Kasal's vehicle.

Both drivers sustained moderate injuries, troopers said, and were taken to the Pocono Medical Center, East Stroudsburg, by West End ambulance. Troopers cited Smith for driving a vehicle at an (un) safe speed.

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