The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

June 19, 2014

Woman killed in Route 522 crash near Beaver Springs

BEAVER SPRINGS — An elderly Beaver Springs woman was leaving the parking lot of a local market off Route 522 Thursday morning when she drove into the path of a southbound tractor trailer and was killed.

Geraldine Hassinger’s family members arrived at the scene shortly after the fatal crash occurred shortly before 9 a.m.

“She came out to get strawberries,” said her son, Bruce Hassinger, who spoke with his mother earlier in the morning.

State police at Selinsgrove said Luis A. Rivera, of Orlando, Fla., was at the wheel of a DDI Transport rig and driving southbound on Route 522 when he struck Hassinger’s Dodge Caravan on the driver’s side as she pulled into the roadway.

“I don’t blame the rig driver,” said Hassinger’s granddaughter, Melanie Rager. “She was nearly 90 and it looks like she pulled out into the path of the truck.”

Police were still investigating the crash and a Pennsylvania Utility Commission motor carrier enforcement officer said he would be inspecting the DDI Transportation vehicle to determine if it had any mechanical problems.

Though she doesn’t lay any blame on Rivera, a teary-eyed Rager said she’s been concerned about speeding traffic along Route 522 in western Snyder County since last July when the Spring Township Board of Supervisors dissolved the one-man police department led for two decades by Ed “Smitty” Smith.

Smith had been the focus of numerous complaints for alleged harassing and intimidating behavior or residents, but he also had a lot of support for cracking down on speeders.

The area is now covered by state and Middleburg police, and Rager said that’s not enough.

“Nobody goes the speed limit anymore since Smitty’s been gone,” she said.

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