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Speed factor in fatal Schuylkill cycle crash

Speed was a factor in a fatal motorcycle crash that occurred Monday afternoon in Schuylkill County.

State police at Schuylkill Haven said the crash occurred at 3:11 p.m. along Route 61 northbound at the Cinema Boulevard intersection in West Brunswick Township.

Troopers said motorcycles were being operated northbound by Stephen Timothy Yourl, 30, of Auburn, and Neiko Lee Zalonka, 25, of Schuylkill Haven, at a high rate of speed. Troopers said several witnesses confirmed that the two were driving at a reckless speed.

Derek Reber, 19, of Cressona, was driving a Dodge Ram 2500 truck southbound and making a legal left turn onto Cinema Boulevard with adequate clearance. Troopers said Yourl and Zalonka were traveling at such a high rate of speed that due to the contour of the road Reber was unable to see them.

While Reber was making the left turn Zalonka’s bike struck the right passengers side of the Dodge coming to final rest near the intersection. Yourl’s bike struck the front of the Dodge and continued off the east side coming to rest about 472 feet from the point of impact.

Zalonka was pronounced dead at the scene. Yourl sustained serious injuries and was flown by medical helicopter to a unidentified hospital. Troopers said he listed in critical but stable condition. Reber sustained minor injuries and was taken by ambulance to a area hospital.

The investigation into the crash is continuing.