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Mother, son in ICU after tire crashes through windshield

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    A picture of the Griswold family, who reside in Elbridge, New York. Heather Griswold and her 7-year-old son, Davis, were seriously injured when a tire on a rim crashed through the windshield of their vehicle Friday afternoon on the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Penn Forest Township. Pictured, from left, are Violet, Heather, Reed, Davis, and Michael Griswold. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Published February 19. 2019 09:06AM


A mother and her son remain in an intensive care unit after a tire on a rim crashed through the windshield of their vehicle Friday afternoon on the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Penn Forest Township.

Heather Griswold, 34, and her 7-year-old son, Davis, of Elbridge, New York, were seriously injured as a result of the incident. Both had major injuries and were flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital.

Heather’s husband, Mike Griswold, 36, also sustained minor injuries, while their two other children were uninjured.

Just after 3 p.m. Monday, Mike posted a message on Heather’s Facebook page updating the condition of Heather and Davis.

“Heather is in the neuro-ICU and Davis is in the pediatric-ICU. Both have undergone surgery and both operations exceeded doctors expectations.

However, recovering from a traumatic injury is a slow process, so we are focusing on daily gains,” he said.

He said the doctors and staff have been “amazing.”

“They are willing to discuss details and answer any questions. They have really helped put my mind at ease with this situation.”

He thanked people for their support and encouragement. “I have read many of your messages and the amount of love that has been shared with our family has brought me to tears many many times. Your support fuels our strength, and I thank you all so much for what you have already done!”


The incident

State Police at Pocono are continuing their investigation into the incident.

According to police, the Griswold family of Elbridge, New York, was driving south on the turnpike at the 83.2 mile marker in Penn Forest Township, between the Route 903 EZ-Pass Exchange and the Mahoning Valley Interchange, when the incident happened at about 5 p.m.

Police said a tire on a rim and partial axle from a Caterpillar forklift that was airborne hit the windshield of the family’s 2015 Ford Explorer. The tire entered the passenger side of the Explorer and hit the front passenger, Heather, and Davis, who was seated in the third row of the van. The driver, Mike, was struck by broken glass.

Both Heather and Davis were transported by helicopter to Lehigh Valley Hospital for treatment, while Mike was transported by ambulance to Lehigh Valley Hospital for treatment. The other two children, Reed, 6, and Violet, 4, were not hurt.

State Police at Pocono is attempting to locate a white tractor trailer that was traveling north on I-476 at the time of the crash.

The tractor was hauling a flatbed trailer with three yellow and black forklifts on the trailer.

The cab of the trailer had a skull decal on the right side of the tractor.

Witnesses said that the tractor trailer in question exited the PA Turnpike at the Pocono Interchange and then traveled on to Interstate 80 west.

The victims were assisted at the scene by members of Troop N Forensics Services Unit and Collision Accident Reconstruction units. Also assisting were Lehighton Ambulance and Turnpike maintenance personnel.


Fundraising page

A Meal Train fundraising page had raised $26,845, more than the $25,000 goal had been raised as of early Monday afternoon.

According to the fundraising site for the family, Heather and Davis “are both fighting very hard to heal from injuries. They have several surgeries, hospital stays and recovery ahead of them.”

Contacted Monday afternoon, Kimberly Culhane, Heather’s sister, said “the community is really coming together.”

“I couldn’t believe the outpouring of generosity from people that we know, and people that we don’t know,” Culhane said. “It’s just amazing, really heartwarming.”

Donations may be made on the fundraiser page,

Culhane said family members continue to be at the side of the Griswolds, and added that the family has received an overwhelming amount of support.

Culhane said the incident was “completely a tragedy.”

“Nothing you expect is ever going to happen,” she said. “It could happen to anyone.”


Prayers continuing for this family's recovery. Also prayers that they locate the responsible party.

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