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Donegal, PA Twelve Vehicle Wreck, Aug 1983

FOUR KILLED IN CRASH, TRUCK DRIVER CHARGED.

Donegal, Pa. (UPI) - A Tennessee truck driver who police say ignored a state trooper's warnings to slow down has been charged with homicide by vehicle for allegedly causing a fiery crash that killed four people and injured 12 others.
DOUGLAS GREER, 29, of Parsons, will be arraigned upon his release from Frick Community Hospital, where he was listed in fair condition following Friday's 12-vehicle wreck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, police said.
GREER was also charged Saturday night with driving too fast for conditions and illegally hauling the chemical sodium nitrite on the turnpike banned through its tunnels, police said.
No other charges were filed in the accident, which took place at 5:40 p.m. near the Donegal interchange in Westmoreland County, about 45 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
State police say GREER, driving a tractor-trailer loaded with 41,000 pounds of the chemical, ignored the warnings of a trooper who was trying to slow traffic near a construction site on the turnpike.
Initial police reports said the rig plowed into another truck, a motor home, five cars and a motorcycle, then hit an embankment and burst into flames, setting off a major brush fire.
Troopers said Sunday they discovered later that three additional cars were involved in the wreck, which turned a portion of the turnpike into an inferno.
"In a matter of seconds the flames were reaching into the sky," said Norene Ficery, of suburban Pittsburgh, who was unhurt in the crash. ".. you just knew people were going to be killed."
The two trucks, the motor home and three cars were destroyed by fire, which melted a stretch of the turnpike's westbound lane and burned some of the victims beyond recognition, authorities said.
Killed in the crash were NILES ROSS JACOBS, 59, of Enola, Cumberland County; AZNAH ABDULLAH, 32, of Kent, Ohio, and her two children, NUFAZRIN, 9, and NURAZMANAINI, 4. All four died at the scene.
The injured included MRS. ABDULLAH'S husband, AZRIF, 33, who was in fair condition Sunday at Westmoreland Hospital.
Although resurfacing had closed one lane of the road during the week, state officials had ordered both lanes open from 3 p.m. Friday through Monday to ease traffic congestion.
It was not clear why both lanes had not been reopened at the time of the crash.

Tyrone Daily Herald Pennsylvania 1983-08-29

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