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Speed, alcohol factor in crash

Published November 07. 2011 05:02PM

Speed and alcohol were factors in a one-vehicle crash that left a Schuylkill County couple seriously injured. State police at Schuylkill Haven said the accident occurred about 4:25 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, along SR61 in North Manheim Township.

Troopers said Heather Bernitsky, 32, of Cumbola, was driving a 2001 Volvo northbound at an extreme high rate of speed when she lost control. The vehicle struck the cement median with the left side. Due to the high rate of speed and the initial impact, the car traveled across the right lane and up a grass embankment where it became airborne about 25 feet and landed on its roof on the left lane against the cement median.

Bernitsky was ejected through the drivers' side window and landed on the road. Her husband, David Bernitsky, 31, was partially ejected through the passengers' side window.

Both were flown from the scene by Medevac helicopter to the Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township, with serious injuries.

Troopers said witnesses told them the vehicle was going in excess of 100 miles-per-hour.

Troopers added during the course of the investigation they determined that the driver was under the influence of alcohol. Charges are pending completion of the investigation, troopers added.

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