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Chain-reaction crash kills Pa. man

June 03, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - A Chambersburg, Pa., man was killed and two people were injured Wednesday night when a tractor-trailer struck a line of traffic on Interstate 81 south of a construction area, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

Matthew W. Moats, 28, of Minnich Road, died at the scene of the 11:19 p.m. chain-reaction crash, which occurred about two miles south of the Marion, Pa., exit, police said. Franklin County Chief Deputy Coroner Ted Reed said an autopsy will be performed today at Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown, Pa.

Moats, an engineering student at Shippensburg (Pa.) University, was returning from the Greencastle Livestock Auction, where he had been selling rabbits that he raised, according to his brother Weston.

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"He liked to hunt and fish, and he raised rabbits," Weston Moats said. Matthew Moats had served in the Marine Corps and was a member of the color guard at American Legion Post 232 in Dry Run, Pa., his brother said.

Matthew Moats worked at Ingersoll-Rand in Shippensburg and for Schaad Detective Agency Inc. as a security guard at Chambersburg Hospital, his brother said.

Police said a northbound tractor-trailer driven by Trevor Gatling of Gaffney, S.C., failed to stop for traffic and struck the rear of a 1994 Ford pickup driven by Moats. Police said Moats' truck was pushed into another Ford pickup, which hit a tractor-trailer driven by Bruce A. Stoltzfus of Newville, Pa.

The truck driven by Stoltzfus was pushed into other vehicles, police said.

The name of the driver of the second pickup, a 48-year-old man, had not been released by state police as of Thursday afternoon. Police said the man was flown by Life Lion helicopter to Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center.

Gatling was treated and released from Washington County Hospital in Hagerstown, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Richard Shoemaker, a construction manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, said the accident happened about three miles south of a construction area where crews were patching concrete on the interstate. He said the left lane was closed in the construction area.

Shoemaker said interstate traffic Wednesday night also was slowed by periodic stoppages north of Exit 17 where crews are removing the Walker Road overpass.

The trooper investigating the fatal accident was not available Thursday afternoon, police said.

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