The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 22, 2009

Route 104 crash in Penns Creek injures four

PENNS CREEK — The sound of two vehicles colliding in front of his store sent Gary Shrawder running onto Route 104 on Monday.

“I heard a loud ‘crack’ and saw two people working on one of the vehicles so I directed traffic,” Shrawder said minutes after the crash that sent four people, including an infant, to two hospitals.

Bette Rivera, 47, of Mifflintown, was driving a Honda Passport northbound on Route 104 when she tried to avoid a Chevrolet van driven by Carl William, 69, of Penns Creek, as he attempted to make a left turn onto Route 104 southbound from Shrawder’s Mini Market at 10:05 a.m., state police at Selinsgrove said.

Tire tread marks visible on the left side of the road showed how Rivera tried to avoid hitting the van.

Shrawder said a passenger in the Honda, identified by police as Kandi Rivera, 29, of Burnham, had taken a baby out of a car seat in the back seat and was walking around.

“The baby seemed OK,” he said, adding that he heard the van driver talking coherently and assuring someone he was not hurt.

Bette Rivera was flown by helicopter to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.

State police said the baby and William were taken by ambulance to Geisinger, and Kandi Rivera was taken by ambulance to Evangelical Community Hospital, Lewisburg. Information on their conditions was not available Monday night.

Police said the infant, whose name was not released, was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Several residents emerged from their homes when they heard the sound of screeching brakes and colliding metal.

“They might as well take down all the 35-mph signs, because (motorists) don’t read them. They’re driving too fast,” said an elderly woman who’s lived along Route 104 in Penns Creek for more than 50 years.

Shrawder, who’s operated the store for more than 20 years, said speeding along the country road and through the sleepy community is common.

“People fly through here. They should obey the speed limit,” he said.

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