Fatal crash near Lycoming Mall takes life of young mother
PENNSDALE – A 32-year-old North Carolina mother was killed and her two children, including her 9-month-old son, were injured in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 180, just west of the Lycoming Mall interchange, about 11:20 a.m. Thursday, according to the Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr.
It is believed that Brittany L. Snauffer, of Dunn, was ejected through a side window as the Ford Explorer she was driving rolled several times in the median, Kiessling and state police said. Dunn is a city in south central North Carolina with a population of about 10,000.
Both the infant and his 7-year-old sister were flown to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, in a helicopter that landed near the crash scene. There was no information on their medical conditions.
Police said Snauffer, who was not wearing a seat belt, was traveling west in the passing lane when she failed to negotiate a curve in the road and lost control of the vehicle.
“We believe the SUV rolled three, possibly four times in the median,” a trooper at the scene said.
As Muncy Township volunteer firefighters and other emergency personnel began arriving on the scene, they immediately began performing cardiopulomonary resuscitation on Snauffer as well as attending to the medical needs of the two children.
The baby suffered a head injury while the injuries to his sister were not serious, but first responders wanted to keep the two together so they both went to Geisinger, police said.
Efforts to revive Snauffer were unsuccessful. Kiessling pronounced her dead at the scene of “multiple blunt force trauma injuries.”
Numerous items, including clothing, shoes, and a stroller covered much of the median after falling out of the SUV.
When asked if the daughter was wearing a seat belt and if her brother was in a child-retraint seat, Kiessling said, “That is still under investigation. We don’t know that for sure.”
Firefighters said the children already were out of the vehicle when they arrived on the scene.
Kiessling said the driver’s chances of surviving the crash were greater had she been wearing a seat belt.
“Seat belts save lives. We say it all the time, we see it all the time,” Kiessling said.
Representatives from the state Department of Transportation were on the scene and assisted with the investigation.
Volunteer fire police assisted with traffic control since traffic in both directions was down to one lane for more than 90 minutes.