First responders escorted the body of a tow truck operator killed on Interstate 78 from Reading Hospital on July 23 to a funeral home in Millersburg, Dauphin County.

Tyler A. Laudenslager, 29, Halifax, Dauphin County, was killed July 21 while assisting a disabled vehicle along I-78 in Bethel Township, state police at Hamburg reported.

Laudenslager was also a volunteer firefighter in Halifax.

The Halifax Fire Department announced on its Facebook page that it would be escorting Laudenslager's body to the funeral home.

An autopsy to determine the cause and manner of Laudenslager's death was conducted at Reading Hospital on Wednesday.

Acting Coroner Jonn M. Hollenbach said July 23 that Laudenslager’s preliminary cause of death is blunt force trauma. There is no ruling on the manner of death at this time, he added.

Laudenslager is the 16th person to die this year in crashes on Berks roads.

The investigation is ongoing and state police ask anyone with information to call 610-562-6885.

Troopers gave this account:

A car driven by Allen E. Putman, 29, of Jonestown, Lebanon County, was traveling west about 6:15 p.m. when it rear-ended a commercial vehicle operated by Adeel Mazhar of Bethlehem.

Putman's vehicle and then veered across the highway and struck Laudenslager as he was standing along the highway. The vehicle then struck the tow truck before coming to a rest a short distance away.

Laudenslager had been actively involved in a roadside assistance call when the crash occurred.

Putman and three occupants of his car were transported to Reading Hospital with moderate to severe injuries. Occupants were Tahnaya S. Calhoun, 38; Tahdirra K. McIntyre, 20, and a 9-year-old juvenile, all of Jonestown.

Calhoun was in fair condition Thursday, according to the hospital, which also reported it did not have the other patients.

The driver of the commercial vehicle was not injured.

The interstate was closed for more than five hours.

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