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Crash injures 5, shuts down route for hours

By Staff | Jun 29, 2010

TIVOLI – At least three people suffered serious injuries in a violent head-on crash that occurred on Route 220 in Shrewsbury Township about 1 p.m. last Thursday.

Four occupants in a Jeep Cherokee, including a female child safely strapped in a child restraint seat, were trapped in the vehicle as was the female driver of the second vehicle, an Acura Integra.

All were extricated soon after rescue personnel arrived on the scene, except the front seat passenger in the Jeep, according to Picture Rocks Fire Chief Al Little.

“It took about 30 to 40 minutes to get that passenger out,” Little said.

To free the occupants of the Jeep, firefighters had to remove the vehicle’s roof and doors. To get the woman out of the Acura, they had to remove the driver’s door, Little said.

The crash occurred just south of Deer Lake Road, about two miles north of here, and shut down the two-lane highway from Beaver Lake Road in Wolf Township to Route 42 in Sullivan County until 5:40 p.m.

The child, because she was properly secured in the safety seat, did not suffer any real injuries, but was taken to Muncy Valley Hospital to be examined, Little said he was told. She later was discharged. Her age as well as the ages of the others involved were not provided.

“The car seat did its job,” Little said, saying that it allowed the victim to escape injury.

Little said three medical helicopters were needed to transport crash victims, two of the helicopters landed in a nearby field and a third landed at Muncy Valley Hospital, to where one of those seriously injured was taken by ambulance. “That victim, a rear passenger in the Jeep, was flown (to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville),” he said.

Both the female driver of the Jeep and a front seat passenger were flown from the scene also to Geisinger once volunteer firefighters freed them from the wreckage.

The driver of the Acura, the only one in the car, was taken by ambulance to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center.

State Trooper Mark Evans said the driver of the southbound Acura “lost control on the wet roadway while rounding a right-hand curve. The car crossed into the northbound bound lane, striking the Jeep head-on.” The Jeep landed on top of a guardrail facing north while the car spun around, landing in the middle of the road, also facing north.

The collision covered much of the roadway with shattered vehicle parts.

An accident reconstructionist from the state police helped Evans with his investigation.

Picture Rocks firefighters were assisted by Muncy Valley firefighters plus emergengy medical technicians from Hughesville and Pennsdale along with several paramedics from Susquehanna Health.

Volunteer fire police and more than a half-dozen state Department of Transportation employees detoured motorists around the crash.

State police released the identities on Friday afternoon of the four people injured in the head-on collision involving the Jeep Cherokee and Acura Integra on Route 220.

The Jeep was driven by Valerie B. Gordner, 55, of Muncy Valley, who was reported in critical condition in Geisinger Medical Center in Danville as was a passenger in her vehicle, Melvin L. Brown, 49, of Williamsport, police said. A second passenger, Tammy Gordner, 37, also of Muncy Valley, was reported in serious condition.

The driver of the Integra was Danielle J. Brewer, 18, of Milton, who was reported in fair condition at Geisinger, police said.

A 3-year-old toddler riding in the Jeep escaped injury because she was properly strapped in a child-restraint seat, police said.

Brewer, who was traveling south, lost control of her car, crashing in the northbound lane with the Jeep, police said. Following the impact, the Jeep went airborne and came down on a guardrail, police said.