Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Victim ID'd in Fatal Route 61 Crash

The victim in a deadly crash on Route 61 on Monday has been identified.

According to the Pennsylvania State Police at Schuylkill Haven, the crash happened around 7:00pm Monday evening at the intersection of Route 61 and Route 895 (Summer Valley Road).

Police say Franklin Ruch, 54, of Lehighton, was travelling westbound on Route 895 in a SUV and Gary Reinoehl, 46, of Pine Grove, was driving a flatbed truck northbound on Route 61.

Both vehicles entered the intersection, which typically has a red light, but due to the storm, the traffic signals were not functioning, and Reinohl's flat bed slammed the side of Ruch's SUV.

The impact of the crash sent the SUV into the median barrier then coming to a rest in the southbound lanes of Route 61.

Reinohl's flatbed came to a rest on top of the barrier.

Ruch was pronounced dead at the scene by a Schuylkill County Deputy Coroner.  Reinoehl was not injured.

Police say in the event of a traffic signal not functioning, drivers are required to treat the traffic signal as a stop sign in all directions.

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