NORTH MANHEIM TOWNSHIP, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – Pennsylvania State Police suspect drugs or alcohol may have played a role in a crash on Route 61 on Monday. The collision sent six people to the hospital.
The damage caused by the driver of a Suzuki Grand Vitara could be seen on Route 61 in North Manheim Township, Monday afternoon.
Police say he was traveling southbound when he crossed into the northbound lane, crashing into a pickup truck and causing damage to an SUV.
“Probably our worst incident we’ve had in a while,” said Chief Jim Misstishin, Pottsville Fire Department.
Troopers say five people were in the car that crossed over including three children. State police identified the driver as 31-year-old Bernard Schuck of Mahanoy City. They suspect he may have been under the influence at the time of the crash.
Chief Jim Misstishin tells Eyewitness News when he arrived on scene, he heard children crying and saw them covered in blood.
“Thank God those kids were in seats. Restrained in the car seats the way they should have been because that was a high mechanism incident. High impact and those kids were in those car seats and that saved their lives,” said Misstishin.
A blessing that also created a challenge for first responders.
“Our rescue crew did a heck of a job. They had five patients extricated in very little time,” said Misstishin.
All five passengers were airlifted to the hospital. The driver of the pick up truck was sent to a different hospital. Schuck’s blood tests are pending. The results will determine if charges will be filed.
There no word yet on the conditions of all the crash victims sent to the hospital.