I-81 crash kills one, injures two

May 16, 1997


Staff Writer

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - An accident claimed the life of an unidentified man on Interstate 81 Friday afternoon when his compact pickup truck ran off the southbound lane of U.S. 11 onto the interstate and into the path of a tractor-trailer, Pennsylvania State Police said.

Police are withholding the victim's name pending notification of next of kin.

Three vehicles were involved in the 12:50 p.m. accident, which tied up traffic in both lanes of the interstate for about four hours, authorities said. Interstate traffic was detoured onto U.S. 11.

Two Canadian women in the third vehicle had minor injuries when the tractor-trailer struck their car after hitting the pickup. The car's driver, Brenda L. McKnight, 40, of 908 Hillside Ave., Toronto, was treated at Chambersburg Hospital and released. Information about the passenger, who was also taken to the hospital, was unavailable Friday night.


The driver of the tractor-trailor, Roger P. Eddy Jr., 35, of Route 1, Box 227A, Middlebourne, W.Va., was not injured. Eddy could not be reached for comment Friday night. He was driving for a Doddridge County, W.Va., building supplier.

The dead man's pickup was smashed beyond recognition. The tractor-trailer ran over the rear of the car, crushing it. The front axle and side fuel tanks of the tractor-trailer were ripped from the vehicle. Diesel fuel from the truck spilled on the roadway creating hazardous conditions, police said.

According to police, the victim was southbound on U.S. 11 when he lost control of his vehicle at the I-81 interchange. He was driving on the approach to a bridge over the interstate when his pickup veered left, crossed the northbound lane of U.S. 11, which parallels the interstate at that point, and continued a few hundred feet across a field.

The car then went down an embankment onto the interstate and into the path of Eddy's rig.

The victim's pickup then slammed into the bridge abutment, ejecting the driver, police said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by Franklin County Coroner Kenneth L. Peiffer Jr.

The tractor-trailer then struck the car, which was traveling in the left southbound lane of the interstate, police said.

Witnesses said the victim's pickup had Pennsylvania tags.

Fire and rescue units from Greencastle, Marion, Pa., and Maugansville responded.

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