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Two from Lehigh injured on I81

Published February 28. 2012 05:01PM

Two Lehigh County residents were seriously injured in a crash along Interstate 81 in Schuylkill County on Saturday, Feb. 25. It was one of three crashes probed on the interstate in Schuylkill County by state police at Frackville, all occuring on Saturday.

Troopers said Daniel Azar, 21, of Allentown, was operating a 2002 Honda Civic southbound about 5:26 a.m. in Ryan Township when he traveled off the road and into the median. The car's front end made impact with the guardrail and came to rest facing south.

Azar and his passenger, Marquis Pongracz, 21, also of Allentown, were both flown by Medevac helicopter to the Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township, for treatment of injuries. The investigation into the crash is continuing.

Troopers were assisted at the scene by volunteers from the Altamont Fire Company, Frackville, Ryan Township Fire Company, West End Rescue of Mahanoy City, and ambulances from Ryan Township, Shenandoah and Mahanoy City.

Troopers reported investigating a one vehicle crash about 7 a.m. in Butler Township. Troopers said Kristi L. Vanpattern, 39, of Clinton Park, N.Y., was driving a 2005 Subaru Outback northbound when she lost control of the vehicle. The Outback spun off the road on the right side and down into a ditch, where it came to rest. Troopers noted the road was covered with snow and ice at the time.

Vanpattern and her six-year-old female passsenger, same address, were not injured. Troopers charged Vanpattern with driving a vehicle at a (un) safe speed.

Troopers probed a crash at 7:20 a.m. in the same area of the interstate. Troopers said William Owens, 59, of Wilkes-Barre, was driving a 2000 GMC Sonoma pickup truck southbound when it went onto the right berm and rolled over three times.

Owens sustained a minor injury but did not require immediate medical attention.

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