Thursday, August 23, 2018

Victim ID'd in Fatal Crash; Driving Stolen Motorcycle

The victim of a fatal crash in New Castle Township, Thursday morning, has been identified.

According to Pennsylvania State Police at Frackville, the crash occurred around 7:50am Thursday morning on Route 61 near the intersection with Darkwater Road in New Castle Township.

Police say two tri-axle dump trucks were traveling south in the right hand lane as they approached the turnoff to Darkwater Road.

Both trucks had their right turn signal on and were slowing down intending to turn right onto Darkwater Road.

A Walmart Tractor Trailer and Jeep were also reported to be travelling behind the two tri-axles.

In the left hand lane was a Suzuki GSXR750 being operated by Rafael Mateo, 29, of Hazleton traveling at a high rate of speed.

As the Walmart truck closed the distance behind the two tri-axles, the driver changed lanes and began passing them.

Mateo approached slower traffic, passed the Jeep on the left and made a sudden lane change to the right cutting off the Jeep.

Mateo continued in the right lane passing the Walmart truck, then attempted to "thread the needle" between the Walmart and tri-axle trucks down the dotted-white line.

Mateo impacted the left corner of the first tri-axle, then tumbled down the center of the two southbound lanes between the Walmart truck and the Tri-Axle.

Mateo's motorcycle continued south striking the second tri-axle.

Mateo was pronounced dead at the scene.  He was reported to be wearing a helmet but was found not to have a valid driver's license.  The motorcycle was also found to be reported stolen in Virginia.

The drivers of the other vehicles involved were not injured.  The tri-axles had minimal damage.

Assisting at the scene were Alert Fire Company and West End Fire from Saint Clair as well as Saint Clair Ambulance.