Police Release Details of Deadly Three-Vehicle Crash in Mercer County

Jacob Deemer

Jacob Deemer

Published July 18, 2023 10:00 am
Last Updated: April 8, 2024 9:38 pm

PINE TWP., Pa. (EYT) – Police released the details of a deadly three-vehicle crash in Mercer County on Monday afternoon.

According to Mercer-based State Police, the crash happened at 12:11 p.m. on Monday, July 17, on Interstate 80 East, in Pine Township, Mercer County.

Police say a 2023 Volvo T680 commercial vehicle driven by 26-year-old Karandeep Singh, of Modesto, CA, was traveling in the left passing lane on I-80 followed by a 2016 Jeep SUV operated by 80-year-old Laura E. Lesher, of Gratz, Pa., and a 2022 RAM 3500 driven by 33-year-old Shayne S. Stanford, of Punxsutawney, Pa., hauling an enclosed trailer.

According to police, this crash occurred as Stanford’s pickup rear-ended Lesher’s vehicle, causing it to rear-end the commercial vehicle.

Lesher’s vehicle then overturned and arrived at final rest on its roof in the left passing lane.

Lesher’s front row passenger—80-year-old John J. Lesher, of Gratz—was entrapped unconscious. He later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

He was extricated from the vehicle by Pine Township Volunteer Fire Department and transported to AHN Grove City Medical Center.

Laura Lesher and two second row passengers—a 16-year-old female from Sacramento, Pa., and an 11-year-old female—were freed from the vehicle by non-mechanical means. Laura Lesher sustained injuries of unknown severity. She was flown by STAT MedEvac to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Both second row passengers were transported from the scene by Superior EMS to AHN Grove City Medical Center.

Stanford and his passengers—28-year-old David E. Hostetler, and an 11-year-old female, both of Punxsutawney—were not injured.

Stanford’s vehicle sustained heavy front end damage.

Additionally, Singh was not injured. His commercial vehicle sustained moderate rear end damage to its trailer.

All occupants were wearing their seat belts.

Both the RAM and the Jeep were towed from the scene by John Malinski Towing.

Police were assisted at the scene by Pine Township Volunteer Fire Company, Springfield Township Volunteer Fire Department, Superior EMS, STAT MedEvac, and PennDOT.

Both lanes of Interstate 80 eastbound were closed for several hours. The roadway was re-opened around 6:20 p.m.

This crash investigation is ongoing, according to police.

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