A Crawford County man was killed Wednesday morning when his vehicle was struck from behind by another vehicle along Interstate 79 in Millcreek Township and crashed, according to the Pennsylvania State Police.
William Richardson, 49, of Centerville, was pronounced dead at the scene following the crash, which was reported in the northbound lanes of I-79 one mile south of the Interchange Road exit on Wednesday at about 5:45 a.m. According to state police in Girard, Richardson was driving a 2005 Jeep Wrangler north on I-79 when a 2007 Mazda 6, driven by a 36-year-old Erie man whose name was not released by troopers, struck the rear of the Jeep and caused the Jeep to travel into the median.
The Jeep hit an embankment and rolled, ejecting Richardson, who was not wearing a seat belt, according to troopers. He died of blunt-force trauma to the trunk, said Erie County Chief Deputy Coroner Nick Rekitt, who pronounced Richardson dead at the scene at 6:43 a.m. Wednesday.
The Erie man was not injured. His blood was drawn and will be tested, and the investigation into the crash is ongoing pending the blood results, according to investigators.
The northbound lanes of I-79 remained open to traffic after the crash but were closed between Interstate 90 and Interchange Road shortly after 7:30 a.m., according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. State police reported that the lanes were closed for about 3½ hours.
Wednesday’s crash was the second fatal crash in Erie County in as many days.
An 86-year-old Erie man, identified by the Erie County Coroner’s Office on Wednesday as Tommaso N. Montagna, was pronounced dead at UPMC Hamot shortly after a 2011 GMC Sierra he was driving east in the 4200 block of West Ridge Road left the roadway and struck a large tree on Tuesday at about 3:15 p.m. The crash remained under investigation by the Millcreek Township Police Department and the Coroner’s Office Wednesday.