Wrong-way car kills 2

Po­lice in­ves­ti­gate fiery crash that closed Rt. 378 for 6 hours

The Morning Call - - FRONT PAGE - By An­drew Scott, Sarah M. Wo­j­cik, Stephanie Si­gafoos and Pamela Lehman

A ve­hi­cle head­ing the wrong way on south­bound Route 378 slammed into another car Wed­nes­day, break­ing the night­time si­lence with a vi­o­lent, fiery crash that left two dead, po­lice said.

The deadly wreck oc­curred at 11:22 p.m. be­tween the Eighth Av­enue and Cen­ter City ex­its in Beth­le­hem.

Po­lice say the ve­hi­cles in­volved in the crash were a 2013 Hyundai Sonata and a 2003 Toy­ota Corolla. Both had ex­ten­sive dam­age, and when res­cue crews ar­rived the Toy­ota was on fire.

“The cars were blown apart. It was a hor­rific crash,” Beth­le­hem po­lice Chief Mark DiLuzio said.

Au­thor­i­ties on Thurs­day af­ter­noon iden­ti­fied the peo­ple killed in the wreck as Ed­win Arce­lay, 27, of Beth­le­hem, and Kae­len P. Fausey, 24, of Lower

Sau­con Town­ship. Arce­lay and Fausey were each driv­ing, but the Le­high County coro­ner’s of­fice did not dis­close who was op­er­at­ing which car.

The coro­ner’s of­fice said Arce­lay’s ve­hi­cle “was struck by another ve­hi­cle,” and he died of mul­ti­ple blunt force trauma. The man­ner of death was ruled an ac­ci­dent.

The cause of death for Fausey will re­quire ad­di­tional foren­sic test­ing, au­thor­i­ties say. The coro­ner’s re­port states Fausey was “the op­er­a­tor of a ve­hi­cle that struck another.”

Au­thor­i­ties say piec­ing to­gether ex­actly what hap­pened will likely take sev­eral weeks. Po­lice would not iden­tify which vic­tim was driv­ing the wrong way.

DiLuzio said in­ves­ti­ga­tors are look­ing at sur­veil­lance video from the area and seek­ing wit­nesses.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is in the “early stages” po­lice said. The agen­cies in­volved in­clude the po­lice depart­ment’s Ma­jor Ac­ci­dent Re­con­struc­tion Team, the traf­fic unit as well as the Le­high County coro­ner’s of­fice.

Sirens were heard wail­ing for min­utes on end in West Beth­le­hem just be­fore 11:30 p.m. Wed­nes­day. Fire­fight­ers were on scene and one of the ve­hi­cles ap­peared to have been de­stroyed by fire, a wit­ness said.

By 12:30 a.m., the car fire was ex­tin­guished, but the heavy smell of burn­ing metal hung in the air near the high­way. Sev­eral emer­gency ve­hi­cles sprawled across the south­bound and north­bound lanes of Route 378, and in­ves­ti­ga­tors snapped pho­tos of the wreckage.

An ash-col­ored husk of a ve­hi­cle sat in the cen­ter of the grass me­dian, fac­ing north. Another dark-col­ored ve­hi­cle, badly dam­aged in the front and back, was spun fac­ing the guard rail in the south­bound lane.

The south­bound lanes re­opened around 5:30 a.m. Thurs­day fol­low­ing the re­pair of a guardrail that was dam­aged in the crash.

Po­lice said any wit­nesses to the crash should call Of­fi­cer Jef­frey Fehr with the re­con­struc­tion team at 610-865-7180 or po­lice at 610-865-7179.

PHO­TOS BY RICH ROLEN/SPE­CIAL TO THE MORN­ING CALL

The Le­high County coro­ner’s of­fice was called to a Wed­nes­day night crash scene on Route 378 in Beth­le­hem.

Two peo­ple were killed in a crash on south­bound Route 378 in Beth­le­hem late Wed­nes­day night, ac­cord­ing to the Le­high County coro­ner’s of­fice. The road re­mained closed early Thurs­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.