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Police: 1 dead in Wayne Township vehicle crash

Report: 15-year-old male passenger flown to UPMC Altoona for treatment of injuries

MOUNT UNION — One woman was killed in a multiple-vehicle crash Wednesday afternoon along U.S. 522 in Wayne Township.

Pennsylvania State Police Lewistown said 39-year-old Heather L. Stidfole, of McVeytown, was killed as the result of a crash on U.S. 522 at the intersection with Old U.S. Highway 22. The crash occurred at approximately 3 p.m.

According to a report from state police, the crash occurred when a 2013 International Harvester Durastar, driven by Hunter E. Houck, 21, of Petersburg, was traveling southbound on U.S. 522 at the intersection with Old U.S. Highway 22 and approaching an active work zone that displayed a portable road sign and a flagger controlling traffic.

Police said Houck was unable to stop his vehicle in time once vehicles ahead of him were slowing down for the work zone, causing Houck to travel into the northbound lane where he collided head-on with a 2013 Toyota 4-Runner driven by Stidfole.

After the collision with Houck, Stidfole’s SUV struck a guide rail and then went down an embankment before the it stopped and Stidfole was ejected from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The Mifflin County Coroner’s Office determined the cause of death to be multiple blunt force trauma.

The 15-year-old male passenger in Stidfole’s vehicle was flown to UPMC Altoona for treatment of his injuries. The teen was wearing his seat belt, but police were unable to determine if Stidfole was wearing hers.

After Houck’s vehicle came to a stop, it then caught fire. Neither Houck, nor his passenger, 21-year-old Jacob T. Houck, also of Petersburg, were injured in the crash and fire. Both were wearing seat belts.

Police said a third vehicle, a Peterbilt 379 driven by Joel M. Swartzentruber, 54, of McVeytown, had to swerve to avoid a fire that had ignited from Houck’s vehicle. Houck’s vehicle then struck Swartzentruber’s but Swartzentruber was wearing a seat belt and was not injured.

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