Pennsylvania man survives head-on crash with two semis

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 10/16/2013

A Pennsylvania man survived a head-on collision with two tractor-trailers and escaped with only minor injuries, according to a report from the Pennsylvania state police.

James Mengel, 73, of Shoemakersville, Pa., entered Interstate 78 traveling eastbound in the westbound lane at about 6:37 a.m. on Oct. 11, according to the patrol’s report.

Mengel, who was driving a 2004 Chevy Silverado pickup, collided head-on with a 2007 Freightliner tractor trailer driven by Joseph Homacki, Jr., 34, of Seneca Falls, N.Y.

The impact of the crash slammed Homacki’s rig into the center median. Mengel’s truck continued to skid eastbound in the westbound lane and collided head-on with another tractor trailer, this time a 2011 Volvo driven by Bernard S. Lisenby Jr., of Berkeley, W. Va. The impact of the second crash forced Lisenby’s rig into the center median as well and pinned Mengel’s truck to the barrier.

Mengel’s truck was pinned between the two big rigs. Emergency responders had to cut away portions of the vehicle to free Mengel, who did not require hospital treatment.

According to the report, Homacki suffered minor injuries while Lisenby was not injured. The crash closed down portions of Interstate 78 for about three hours.

A spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Patrol said Mengel was issued a citation for careless driving.

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