Woman dies in crash involving Pa. officer

A two-car crash involving a police cruiser in Nesquehoning on Monday evening claimed the life of a 69-year-old woman


NESQUEHONING, Pa. — A two-car crash involving a police cruiser in Nesquehoning on Monday evening claimed the life of a 69-year-old woman, state police at Lehighton said.

The victim, Carola Sauers, was a passenger in a 2007 Toyota Yaris driven by 64-year-old Michael Sauers, police said. No hometown was provided in the press release.

The crash happened when Stephen Homanko, 25, a part-time Nesquehoning police officer, lost control of his 2009 Ford Crown Victoria while attempting to negotiate a curve on Route 209 a mile and a half north of the Route 209/Route 93 intersection, troopers said.

Homanko's vehicle entered the opposite lane of travel and his left rear quarter panel struck the front bumper of Sauers' vehicle, which sustained major front-end damage, police said. Homanko's vehicle sustained major rear-end damage, police said.

Homanko was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest, and Carola and Michael Sauers were flown to St. Luke's Hospital in Bethlehem, where Carola Sauers was pronounced dead, police said.

A hospital spokeswoman at St. Luke's said she could not provide patient information on Michael Sauers while a hospital spokeswoman from Lehigh Valley Hospital said Homanko was treated and released.

The Lehighton barracks could not comment further on the crash, referring all calls to a public information officer at state police at Hazleton. Trooper David Peters of the Hazleton barracks said the destination Homanko was headed to prior to the crash is still under investigation.

Gary Williams, Carbon County 911 director, said he couldn't release transcripts from his office during the time of the crash. When asked if he could say where Homanko told 911 he was going prior to the crash, Williams referred the question to state police at Lehighton.

Peters said the Sauers were last living in Lehighton. They also lived in Greater Hazleton prior to that, according to stories archived with the Standard-Speaker.

Several attempts to reach someone at the Nesquehoning police station were unsuccessful Tuesday.

The Pennsylvania State Police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Specialist Unit was contacted to assist in the crash investigation, troopers said.

State police were assisted by Lehighton, Jim Thorpe, Nesquehoning and Beaver Meadows police departments, and Nesquehoning, New Columbus and Jim Thorpe fire departments.

Route 209 was closed for several hours in the area of the crash.

Copyright 2014 the Standard-Speaker 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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