The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 27, 2013

Sunbury victim had been prepared for water emergency

SUNBURY — Melissa Moyer’s parents and sister retraced the final steps she and a friend took before they drowned in a minivan mistakenly driven into the ocean in Maine on Tuesday.

“There are just so many unanswered questions,” said Megan Aikey, 29, hours after returning home from the emotionally wrenching trip. “It’s just so hard to grasp.

Aikey and her parents, David I. and Debra A. Moyer, all of Sunbury, are speaking out about 38-year-old Moyer’s tragic death in the hopes of saving lives and celebrating the single mother of a 13-year-old son.

They describe Moyer as an outdoor enthusiast and avid traveler who enjoyed working with an autistic child as a personal care aide at Shikellamy School District. Though spontaneous, her family said Moyer was also always well prepared.

David Moyer broke out in sobs as he displayed the $30 emergency car hammer his daughter purchased some time ago, showed her son how to use and kept in her car’s center console.

“She was smart enough to have this in her vehicle. She just wasn’t thinking about it when she packed,” he said.

Through his tears, David Moyer urged the public to be aware the small, inexpensive tool capable of breaking glass and cutting seat belts could be a life saver.

“I just don’t want it to happen to someone else,” he said.

The night of the accident, Moyer, who was in Maine with her son visiting Stiner, 37, seven months pregnant and formerly of Catawissa, was a passenger in Stiner’s Dodge Caravan which wasn’t equipped with the emergency tool.

The two friends had gone out for a hike in Roque Bluffs State Park, about five miles from Stiner’s home, at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when they became lost and had to call for help. A nearby resident and member of the local search and rescue team, Wayne Hanscom, took his ATV out and rescued the women and Stiner’s dog, Gunner.

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