Last updated: February 17. 2013 8:40AM - 122 Views

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HANOVER TWP. – An 82-year-old woman was killed in a two-vehicle crash on the Sans Souci Parkway late Monday morning.


Joan Madden of Fairview Township died of multiple traumatic injuries, according to Luzerne County Deputy Coroner Dan Hughes, who said she was declared dead at 11:40 a.m. The death was ruled accidental and there will be no autopsy, he said Monday night.


Township police and firefighters responded to the crash in front of Dundee Gardens just after 11 a.m.


Police said the woman, driving a Mercury Sable, traveled on an off-ramp at Exit 3 from state Route 29 and crossed into the path of a Mazda pickup truck, driven by John Diel, of White Haven. Diel was northbound on the parkway and struck the Mercury on the driver's side, police said.


Police said Diel suffered minor injury and was transported to a local hospital.


Deputy coroners Hughes and Eric Strish removed the body from the wreckage.


State police forensic services personnel are conducting an accident reconstruction of the crash.


Northbound traffic was diverted onto state Route 29 while southbound traffic was down to one lane partially using the parking lot to Dundee Gardens.


"There is a lot of extra traffic with the holiday (Columbus Day) and Halloween with Dundee Gardens here," said Brian McDermott, 37, of Hanover Township. "Even when there is not a holiday, there is not enough lighting at night and not enough traffic lights. Too much car traffic; people don't know which way to go."


McDermott said the intersection of the parkway with Route 29 can be confusing.


The Mercury and Mazda came to rest near one of four exit ramps of Route 29.


"It's hard coming off these ramps; there is not enough direction," McDermott said. "Maybe there should be a traffic light at this intersection."


A temporary traffic light was in place when the South Cross Valley Expressway Bridge spanning the Susquehanna River was being renovated. Construction ended earlier this year, and the traffic light, which was placed near the area of Monday's deadly wreck, was removed.


According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's Traffic Monitoring System, an estimated 6,200 vehicles a day travel the Sans Souci Parkway in the area of the crash.


Any witnesses to the crash are asked to call Hanover Township police at 825-1254 or 911.


Edward Lewis, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 829-7196.


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