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Trooper 1st in 10 years to die in line of duty

January 04, 1999|By DON AINES

FORT LITTLETON, Pa. - A state trooper killed Sunday on the Pennsylvania Turnpike was the first to die in the line of duty in nearly 10 years, according to a Pennsylvania State Police spokesman.

Sgt. Arthur L. Hershey, 51, of Bedford, Pa., was the father of another state trooper stationed at the same barracks, Press Secretary Jack Lewis said Monday.

Lewis said 10 people, including Hershey, were killed in accidents investigated by Pennsylvania State Police during the New Year's holiday weekend that began Thursday, Dec. 31. Three of those fatalities occurred in Fulton County.

Hershey, who had been with the state police since 1971, was killed instantly at about 1 p.m. when he was hit by a pickup truck driven by Linda Christine Reppert, 32, of Allentown, Pa.

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The report said Hershey was standing beside his cruiser when he was struck.

The driver was headed east when she lost control of the pickup on a partially snow-covered curve in Dublin Township, according to police. The report said the truck crossed the roadway, went onto an embankment and rolled onto the cruiser.

Reppert suffered minor injuries. Cpl. Investigating officer Mark E. Gusta of the turnpike station in Everetts, Pa., said Monday the accident was still under investigation.

Hershey was on his way "to Harrisburg (Pa.) to train for the farm show. He was a member of our equestrian team," Lewis said.

Hershey, who was the crime section supervisor for Troop G in Bedford, was not on patrol, he said.

Lewis said he did not know whether Hershey had been involved in a minor accident prior to the crash or had stopped to assist at an accident.

During his career, Hershey had been stationed at Lock Haven, Mansfield, Highspire, McConnellsburg, Lancaster, Hollidaysburg and three times in Bedford. His son Bradley, 26, is a trooper at Bedford.

Another state police spokesman, Trooper Robert L. Trostle, in Harrisburg, Pa., said Hershey's death was the first in the line of duty since April 12, 1989, when Cpl. Paul Almer and Trooper Wayne Bilheimer were killed in a helicopter crash in Lancaster County.

They were doing an aerial search for a drowning victim when the chopper hit high-tension wires and crashed in the Susquehanna River, Trostle said.

Eighty-five troopers have died in the line of duty since the state police was formed in 1905, according to Lewis.

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