Franklin Co. man dies after I-81 crash

June 27, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A former Greene Township dairy farmer died Monday from injuries he received when the tractor-trailer he was driving crashed at Exit 67 of Interstate 81, according to Pennsylvania State Police in Dauphin County.

D. LaMar White, 59, of 1383 Walker Road in Chambersburg, died about two hours after the 7:25 a.m. crash, police said. White was northbound on I-81 in a Mack truck when he lost control on the exit ramp for Pa. 322 in Susquehanna Township, police said.

The truck went off the right side of the road, struck a guardrail and overturned, police said. White was freed from the wreckage by fire and emergency medical personnel, and flown to Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center, where he died at 9:13 a.m.

White was wearing a seat belt, police said.

"He was very caring and compassionate," said White's daughter, Lynell Smith. "He volunteered a lot of his time at Singing in the Barn (a gospel concert series)" and the Franklin County Shelter For The Homeless, she said.


"He was there for any of his friends when they needed him at any time," she said.

"He owned and operated his farm for 30 years" with his wife, Lois, Smith said. In recent years, he had gotten out of farming and become a truck driver, first for H.J. Tanner Inc. of Shippensburg, Pa., then Hammaker East Ltd. of Chambersburg, according to his obituary.

Smith's father was an enthusiastic horseman and member of the South Mountain Rangers Saddle Club, she said.

In addition to his wife and daughter, White is survived by a grandson, Dylan Brown, and two step-granddaughters, Hayle and Morgan Smith, his daughter said.

As a farmer, White became involved in a long-running litigation with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation over Exit 17, attorney Tom Linzey of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund said.

The exit originally was to have been built at the old Walker Road bridge, but Greene Township was able to get that land designated a Rural Historic District, said Linzey, who represented the Whites.

PennDOT then moved the site of the interchange to the south and attempted to condemn about 21 acres of the Whites' land for the project, Linzey said. The Whites filed suit, claiming the state needed to first go through the Agricultural Land Condemnation Approval Board.

The couple "won going up through the Pennsylvania Supreme Court," Linzey said. PennDOT then went through the board, which approved the condemnation, he said.

The Whites were preparing to appeal the board's 2001 decision when PennDOT made an offer to the couple to buy the land, Linzey said.

"In essence, the cases set precedents for the whole state as to when state agencies can take land," Linzey said.

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