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Three die in separate crashes over weekend

Published March 31. 2014 07:37AM

Three people died in three separate crashes over the weekend in the TIMES NEWS coverage area.

Two died in crashes in Schuylkill County and the third was killed in an accident in Carbon County.

Schuylkill crashes

A Shenandoah man died when his car was hit head-on by another vehicle early Saturday morning along SR54 in Mahanoy Township, just west of Mahanoy City.

The fatal collision occurred shortly after Shirl M. Mumie, 37, 0f Shenandoah, operating a 1997 Chevrolet 1500 pickup truck, struck a pedestrian a short distance away from the fatal crash scene.

State police at Frackville said Mumie was operating the truck eastbound about 12:30 a.m. when she struck a pedestrian, Joseph Minnich, 41, of Mahanoy City, who was walking east along the eastbound lane. Minnich attempted to avoid the truck but could not and was struck by the left side of the vehicle.

After impact Mumie fled the scene continuing eastbound. She continued for a short distance before she lost control of her vehicle and crossed into the westbound lane where her truck collided head-on into a 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier driven by James Hossler, 62, of Shenandoah.

Hossler was trapped in his vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mumie was flown by LifeFlight helicopter to the Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, for treatment of what troopers said were non-life threatening injuries. Hossler died of blunt force injuries to the chest, authorities said.

Minnich sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene. Troopers cited Minnich for pedestrians walking along or on highway-walking not facing traffic.

Troopers said the investigation into the crashes is continuing. Troopers were assisted at the scene by a state police forensic unit, a reconstruction expert, police from Mahanoy City and Shenandoah, and a EMS unit from Mahanoy City and Pottsville paramedics.

No charges have been filed as of yet in the incident.

The second fatal Schuylkill crash occurred about 8:26 a.m. on Saturday along Interstate 81 in Pine Grove Township.

Troopers said Richard P. Novatka, 42, of Schuylkill Haven, was driving southbound when his sport utility vehicle (SUV) was struck in the rear by a tractor-trailer rig.

Upon impact the SUV spun counter-clockwise and struck the guide rail. It then overturned several times with Novatka and his passenger ejected from the vehicle.

Novatka was pronounced dead at the scene. His 45-year-old male passenger from Schuylkill Haven was flown by Lifelion helicopter to the Hershey Medical Center with severe injuries, troopers said. Troopers declined to release the name of the passenger.

The truck driver was identified as Roger Porras, 49, of Summit, N.J.

Troopers noted Novatka and his passenger were not wearing seat belts. Novatka died from blunt force trauma to the chest and pelvis.

The investigation into the crash is continuing.

Carbon crash

The fatal Carbon crash occurred about 11:40 p.m. on Saturday along Interstate 80 in Kidder Township.

State police at Fern Ridge said Michele M. Albee, 31, of White Haven, was operating a 2008 Ford Edge eastbound when it left the road on the left side and entered the center median. The Edge then rolled over several times, ejecting Albee from the vehicle.

The Edge came to rest on its roof in the center median. Albee was pronounced dead at the scene.

Troopers said the interstate eastbound lanes were closed between White Haven and Exit 274 for about an hour-and-a-half.

The investigation into the accident is continuing, troopers added.

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