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I-81 crash causes three fatalities near Greencastle

Driving along on the interstate can be sometimes somewhat soothing. The lack of stoplights and in rural parts of the country, even few interchanges can leave your mind with little to think about beyond keeping your car between the solid line on one side and the dotted line on the other side of your vehicle.

It can be more than soothing, leading to a virtual trance-like state, where you may be lulled into drifting off to sleep. Drowsy driving is a problem, but sometimes it is not just being tired. You may find yourself suddenly coming to and realizing you don’t remember anything about driving the last half-dozen miles. 

The interstate can make it easy to forget that you are piloting thousands of pounds of vehicle down the road at close to 100 feet per second. A curving road or slowing traffic can lead to catastrophic consequence when any activity, from daydreaming to drowsiness to texting on a cellphone, takes your mind off the road.

Police offered no explanation why a Chevrolet crossed the median yesterday on I-81 south of Chambersburg and crashed into a Toyota in the opposite lane, but the horrific collision sent the Chevrolet airborne and it then caught fire after striking an embankment.

Both occupants in the Chevrolet were killed and the passenger in the Toyota also died.

Did the driver of the Chevrolet nod off? Was he texting or otherwise distracted by a cellphone? Was there some mechanical failure on the Chevrolet that caused a loss of control? Could the driver of the Toyota have avoided the Chevy if he had recognized what was happening?

We may never know for certain, but this collision has left three people dead and two families altered forever as a result of what was probably an avoidable accident.


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