Tuesday, January 22, 2019


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Authorities Trying to ID Driver from Fiery Red Hill Crash
Written by Kelly Chandler Staff Writer

No license plate or VIN found on vehicle; no ID on driver

        The Montgomery County Coroner's Office and state police are still working to identify the driver who died in a fiery crash in Red Hill shortly after midnight Saturday.

        State police said the white male driver was pinned in a silver Volkswagen Passat after it erupted in flames following a collision with two utility poles in the area of 246 Main Street.  The driver was fleeing a Marlborough Township police officer, whom authorities said clocked the man going 105 mph northbound on Route 29 in Marlborough Township.

        Tpr. Dean Wright, of PA State Police, Skippack barracks said the Marlborough Township officer observed the driver weaving in and out of traffic and "dangerously passing vehicles" at extremely high speeds.  Troopers said the officer activated his lights and siren and pursued the vehicle, while in contact with Montgomery County dispatchers.

        Authorities said the officer terminated the pursuit in the area of Walters Road and Route 29, near the Upper Hanover Township line.  As he continued northbound, the officer reportedly observed what appeared to be a large explosion, police said, in Red Hill. 

        Troopers said the Volkswagen hit a Verizon utility pole on the west side of Main Street and burst into flames.  While on fire, police said the vehicle traveled another 1,200 feet and impacted street signs and a PP&L utility pole on the east sidewalk.

        The Marlborough officer quickly responded and discovered the driver, who was conscious, was pinned in the vehicle, police said.  The officer attempted to put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher but was unable to rescue the driver after several attempts. 

        The officer suffered severe smoke inhalation, authorities said, and was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital – Cedar Crest for treatment by Harleysville Area EMS.  He was treated and released, according to Marlborough Township Police.

        Upper Perk Police also assisted at the location.

        Red Hill Fire Company responded to the scene and extinguished the fire, police said.  They were assisted by Pennsburg fire personnel.  Two homes suffered damage from the flames.  First responders at the location said one of the homes' vinyl siding had melted from the heat of the fire. 

        Ambulances from Upper Perkiomen, Harleysville and Gilbertsville also responded.

        Fire police from at least six companies, including Red Hill, Pennsburg, Green Lane, Hereford, Upper Salford and Seisholtzville also responded and closed Main Street from 6th Street to 2nd Street while police conducted an investigation.

        Main Street was reopened around 7:30 a.m.

        No license plate/registration was on the vehicle at the time of the collision and authorities said they also couldn't locate a vehicle identification number (VIN) on the car.  No identification was found for the driver, according to authorities. 

        Personnel from the Montgomery County Coroner's Office, who responded to the accident scene, said Wednesday an autopsy had been conducted this week but the results were not being released.  Officials said the office was still working on identifying the individual and nothing would be released until an ID was made.      

        Police said an investigation is ongoing.





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