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Rural Pennsylvania accident kills 5, injures 1

A car accident in Eastern Pennsylvania killed five people. Police in Heidelberg Township are uncertain how the collision with a tow truck occurred. Car accidents with such high death tolls seem more common on major highways than Mountain Road, 15 miles from Allentown.

The auto accident happened on a Thursday just after 2:30 p.m., on a rural route neighbors said was used heavily by Allentown and Carbon County travellers. State police say a car pulling out from Bake Oven Road was hit by a tow truck headed southbound.

The truck had a box truck in tow at the time of the collision. All three vehicles moved through the intersection and smashed into a utility pole, knocking out power in the area. A tow truck passenger survived and was hospitalized at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest.

The wreckage was so entangled that rescuers did not realize a total of five people had died until the tow truck was removed. Among the dead were the truck driver and four occupants in the car, one woman and three men.

Investigators were still on the scene taking measurements into the evening hours. An onlooker claimed that one of the vehicles had run a stop sign.

Police were still notifying family members about the accident as rescuers attempted to remove the victims' bodies from the wreckage. A woman, who believed that her brother was among the victims, arrived at the scene and asked to speak with state police. She waited 45 minutes until an official from the coroner's office could talk with her.

Family members are absorbing the shock of personal tragedies. Investigators cannot say what really happened on that rural Pennsylvania highway.

One person may have vital information investigators need for this case - the survivor. Negligence can be determined, if the injury victim's story matches evidence from the scene. Witness interviews may also help explain how and why the deadly crash occurred.

Source: articles.mcall.com, "5 dead as tow truck, car crash in northern Lehigh County," Frank Warner, Manuel Gamiz Jr. and Pamela Lehman, June 28, 2012

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