The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 21, 2011

Truck driver killed this morning in I-80 crash

BLOOMSBURG — A New York tractor-trailer driver was pronounced dead at the scene of a two-rig crash at 2:45 today on Interstate 80 eastbound in South Centre Township, according to state police at Bloomsburg.

Police identified the victim as Mark Kowalski, of Albany, N.Y. Police said Kowalski was driving a 2011 Freightliner truck tractor with a double trailer.

The other rig operator, Patrick L. Webb, 41, of Marshall, Texas, was traveling east when his 2002 Peterbilt truck trailer and trailer  went out of contorl on the snow-covered road and slid off the road and into the median, police said. The tractor struck a dirt and grass embankment with the trailer sitting sideways across the passing lane and in part of the right-hand eastbound lane, police said.

Kowalski was traveling east behind Webb in the right lane when the left front of the Freightliner tractor struck the back of the Webb trailer.  The cab of the Kowalski ’s truck was torn loose from the frame and the cab struck a guiderail along the right lane and rolled over the guiderail, coming to rest off the shoulder of the road and about 100 feet from the point of impact with the Webb  truck, police said. Webb wasn’t injured.  

The frame and double trailers of the victim’s rig came to rest in the passing lane and shoulder area of I-80 east. The Webb truck came to rest in the median area.

Kowalski was trapped in the cab about 45 minutes before being freed by rescue personnel. Kowalski was pronounced dead by Columbia County Deputy Coroner Ron Taylor.

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