A deadly Pennsylvania multi-car accident on Interstate 78 on Wednesday, August 16, 2012, claimed the life of a New York mother and injured eight others. Linda Rooney, 51, of Goshen, New York was pronounced dead of head injuries at the scene.
Emergency responders arrived at the scene at about 10:30 a.m. and began to deal with the victims and mangled vehicles.
According to Pennsylvania state police, a Toyota Camry was re-entering the freeway near Allentown after pulling over to fix a flat tire. The Mazda Rooney was riding in crashed into the Toyota. Both cars spun out of control and Rooney’s car hit a third car as well as a tractor-trailer.
Rooney and her husband and two children were traveling to Carlisle, Pennsylvania to take daughter Megan, 22, to law school. Raymond Rooney, 51, is second-in command of the Bronx Detectives Unit. He suffered a broken neck, and Megan a broken back. Also a passenger in the car, son Kevin, 15, had a concussion and other injuries.
Traffic along and around the Lehigh Street exit in Salisbury Township was stalled for hours as emergency teams worked to treat the injured and clear the scene. The westbound lanes of I-78 were shut down for seven hours, causing jams all over Lehigh Valley. Also injured in the accident were Michael Lugo, 19; Jose Gonzalez, 19; and three 17-year-olds. All were taken to Allentown area hospitals.
Fatal Interstate 78 crashes are not uncommon. In January 2012, a Philadelphia tractor-trailer driver lost his life in Williams Township. And just last month, a Russian student visiting the Lehigh Valley was killed in a deadly collision along I-78.