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3 PennDOT workers injured on I-80

Three Pennsylvania Department of Transportation workers were injured, one seriously, when struck by a vehicle in a construction zone along Interstate 80 on Tuesday.

State police at Fern Ridge said the crash occurred at 3:27 p.m. in Tunkhannock Township in Monroe County.

According to troopers, Khurshed H. Naimov, 41, of Brooklyn, New York, and Hishamar S. Falconer, 34, of Lauderhill, Florida, were both westbound and traveling through a construction zone. Naimov’s 212 Volvo van struck the rear of Hishamar’s 2003 Volkswagen Passat. The Passat was pushed into the three PennDOT workers and a PennDOT truck.

The workers were identified as Arlington Fitzge Harze, 48, of East Stroudsburg; Jeffrey F. Smith, 34, of Long Pond; and John P. Poccia, 38, of Effort.

The three were taken to the Lehigh Valley Hospital, Pocono, East Stroudsburg, and Geisinger Wyoming Valley, Plains Township, Luzerne County. Troopers indicated Poccia suffered a suspected serious injury while Harze sustained a minor injury, and the injury severity to Smith was unknown.

Neither Naimov, Falconer nor his passengers Rita S. Staples, 29, and an infant boy, both of Albrightsville, were injured.

The PennDOT truck driver was identified as Thomas E. Ketcherick, 50, of Pocono Summit. He was not injured.

The Passat sustained heavy damages while the Volvo and PennDOT truck damages were termed minor. Naimov was cited for following too closely.

The investigation into the crash is continuing.

Traffic backed up northbound in Interstate 380. COPYRIGHT LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Pocono Mountain Regional police block off the entrance ramp to I-380 south at Route 940 keeping traffic away from a serious crash on Interstate 80 west bound at the 289.2 mile marker. COPYRIGHT LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS