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Eleven injured in I-80 crash; one of several on interstate

Published April 02. 2014 10:06AM

State police at Fern Ridge reported investigating a four-vehicle crash along Interstate 80 in Kidder Township, Carbon County, in which 11 people were transported to hospitals, none seriously injured. It was one of several crashes along the interstate in Kidder over the past weekend.

The four-car pileup occurred at 4:47 p.m. on Sunday, March 30, during icy road conditions.

Troopers said all four vehicles involved were westbound. Troopers said Ryan J. Maurer, 22, of Chalfont, Bucks County, was driving a 2008 Mazda 3 when he lost control with the car, hitting a guard rail along the berm. After striking the guard rail the Mazda became disabled in the left lane of travel.

At this point the Mazda was struck in the rear by a 2008 Audi Q7 driven by Ian Golten, 40, of Lewisburg, Union County, and the Mazda caught fire.

Thomas F. Mooney, 59, of Hudson, Ohio, driving a 2008 Saturn Vue, came upon the scene and attempted to avoid the two other vehicles and struck the concrete barriers, causing his car to overturn. At this point Wesley J. Mekeel, 26, of Sunbury, Northumberland County, struck the concrete barriers multiple times in an attempt to avoid the other vehicles involved in the crashes.

Drivers Maurer and Golten and various passengers, totaling 11 people in all, were taken to hospitals including Geisinger-Wyoming in Luzerne County and Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg. None of the injuries were life-threatening.

Maurer was cited for driving a vehicle at an unsafe speed.

Another crash occurred at 6:03 p.m. Joshua C. Holmes, 31, of Stroudsburg, was driving a 2009 Nissan Versa westbound when he attempted to pass a 2006 Ford truck driven by Chad K. Hettler, 26, of Hazleton. Holmes lost control of the Versa, which struck the truck.

No one was injured. Holmes was cited for driving a vehicle at an unsafe speed.

A crash occurred 22 minutes later in the same area. Kiyoundia Carpenter, 30, of Calumet Park, Ill., was driving a 2013 Dodge Avenger in the right lane when she drove off onto the south berm and struck a tree. Carpenter and passenger Kennice Atkins, 37, of Chicago Heights, Ill., were not injured.

She was cited for driving a vehicle at an unsafe speed.

A one-vehicle accident was reported on Saturday, March 29, at 7:09 a.m. in the eastbound lanes. Troopers said Steven C. O'Connor, 19, of Wharton, N.J., was driving a 2004 Nissan Sentra when he failed to negotiate a right curve, drove onto the north shoulder and initially struck a ditch. The car continued east off the road, where it turned 180 degrees and struck multiple small trees.

O'Connor fled the scene but was later located. He was cited for the crash.

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