One killed in truck accidents on I-80
Thursday, June 12, 2008
By Terry Whetstone Staff Writer
Details remain sketchy as fire crews were just clearing the scene of a crash on Interstate 80 at press time, but it was confirmed there was a fatality at that crash, which happened about 4:18 a.m. today in the westbound lane near mile marker 108.
Clearfield County Coroner R. Joel Heath confirmed one person died in the crash, but he could not release the name this morning. I-80 was still closed at press time, with traffic exiting at mile marker 111 and re-entering at mile marker 101 while police continued their investigation.
State police at Clearfield said there were two accidents at the same location. Firefighters on the scene said there was no fire and no one involved was ejected from their vehicle during the crash.
The first crash occurred when Jaroslaw Sobolewski of Ridgewood, N.Y., was traveling west on I-80 in the right lane, and Jerzy Wardalski was just ahead of him, also in the right lane. Mr. Wardalski was driving a 2001 Freightliner tractor-trailer.
Police said Mr. Sobolewski lost control of his 2008 Volvo tractor-trailer, causing it to strike the rear of the Wardalski vehicle.
Following the impact, both vehicles came to rest facing west, one on the berm the other in the right lane.
Mr. Sobolewski had to be extricated from his truck with the Jaws of Life, and he was transported to Altoona Regional Health Systems Trauma Center by Stat-MedEvac helicopter, which landed on the interstate. There was no condition report available at press time.
Mr. Wardalski was not injured.
That accident caused a secondary crash, which resulted in the death of the driver of a 2005 Freightliner.
Police said Brian E. McNicholas of Janesville, Wis., was stopped in the right lane for the first crash when the driver of the second truck tried to get around his truck, but struck the trailer. The Freightliner came to rest in the left lane.
Police said both drivers were wearing seatbelts, and Mr. McNicholas was not hurt in the crash.
Police said once the notification of the next of kin has been made, the identification would be released.
Lawrence Township Station No. 5, Clearfield Emergency Medical Services, Penfield Fire Co. Oklahoma Fire Station from Sandy Township Fire Co., Lawrence Township Fire Police and the Clearfield County coroner assisted the state police at the scene.