Fatal accident on Route 61 near Shoemakersville Rd.
A four vehicle crash with one fatality and one injury occurred on Route 61 southbound near Shoemakersville Rd., Perry Twp., on Oct. 11 at 5:15 p.m. A 2004 Pontiac GTO driven by a 48-year-old male was traveling northbound on Route 61 when he lost control on the wet roadway. The vehicle crossed over into the southbound lane where it was struck on the driver’s side by a 2004 Chevrolet Van driven by Harold L. Rote Jr., 48, of Columbia. The GTO spun and was then struck in the rear by a 1998 BMW driven by Harry Phillips, 78, of Clifford. The GTO then rotated coming to rest on Route 61 southbound and was then struck by a 2001 Ford Explorer driven by Heriberio Gonzalez, 43, of Reading. The GTO came to final rest in front of the Explorer.
Phillips was transported to Reading Hospital by Hamburg Ambulance and all other occupants refused medical treatment. The 48-year-old man was pronounced deceased by the members of the Berks County Coroner’s Office. His name was not released at time of print.
Assisting at the scene with traffic control were members of Shoemakersville Fire Co. Assisting at the scene with processing were members of PSP Hamburg.
Accident closes I-78 W for three hours
James Mengel, 73, of Shoemakersville, was traveling in a 2004 Chevrolet Pickup east in the westbound lane of I-78 on Oct. 11 at 6:37 a.m. near mile marker 29.5 in Tilden Twp. The vehicle was struck by a 2007 Freightliner TT driven by Joseph Homacki Jr., 34, of Seneca Falls, NY, which caused Homacki to lose control and strike the concrete median. Bernard S. Lisenby Jr. also struck Mengel head on in a 2011 Volvo TT causing Lisenby to lose control and strike the concrete median. Mengel was pinned between Homacki and Lisenby and the concrete barrier. Mengel had to be extricated by mechanical means. The left lane of I-78 W was closed for approx. three hours. Investigation continuing.
Accident closes I-78 on Oct. 9
This crash occurred as two vehicles, a truck tractor trailer driven by Carl Odhner, 62, of Stony Run, and the other a 2002 Nissan Sentra driven by Luis DeJesus, 22, of Fountain Hill, with passengers Kimberly DeJesus, 20, and a one-year-old male, were traveling on I-78 in the right lane near mile marker 38.2 in Greenwhich Twp. on Oct. 9 at 2:40 p.m. DeJesus was slowing to avoid a retread in the middle of the right lane. Odhner failed to observe the slowing vehicle and struck it from behind. After impact, the trailer rolled onto its side. Odhner’s vehicle went through the guiderail and down an embankment. After impact, the Sentra came to rest against the guiderail.
Odhner was extricated from his truck by Kutztown Fire Dept. and transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital by Kutztown Ambulance.
Both lanes of I-78 westbound were closed due to this crash.
Hamburg man charged with Aggravated Indecent Assault and related charges
On July 11 the 16-year-old victim traveled to PSP Hamburg to report that in 2006 when she was 10 years old, Brian David Smith, 58, of Hamburg, had inappropriately touched her on several different occasions. As a result of the investigation Smith was arrested on Oct. 9 and charged with violating Aggravated Indecent Assault, Indecent Exposure, Corruption of Minors, Indecent Assault and Endangering the Welfare of Children. Smith was immediately arraigned in front of Judge Kim L. Bagenstose of District Court 23-3-06. Smith’s bail was set at $500,000 straight.
Commercial vehicle hits concrete wall of residence in Centre Twp.
A one vehicle crash occurred at a residence in the 400 block of Bellemans Church Rd., Centre Twp., on Oct. 8 at 10:40 p.m. The crash occurred at a 2009 Freightliner was traveling west on Bellemans Church Rd. and was attempting to negotiate a right curve in the roadway. Initial impact occurred when the vehicle’s passenger side trailer exited the north side of the road and struck a concrete wall in front of the residence. The vehicle needed a tow to be pulled away from the wall however was able to be driven from the scene. It obtained damage to the passenger side rear wheels and axle. The concrete wall was damaged as well. No one was injured. Central Berks Fire Dept. assisted at the scene.
Hit and Run in Shoemakersville
This crash occurred as an unknown vehicle was traveling north on Main St., Shoemakersville, on Oct. 10 at 8 a.m. The vehicle was approaching Noble Ave. A 2006 Ford F150 was parked along the curb in the 400 block of Main St. facing north. The unknown vehicle side swiped the Ford striking its driver’s side mirror. The unknown vehicle continued north on Main St. and fled the scene.
Anyone with information is asked to contact PA. State Police.