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Driver killed after metal pole falls on vehicles in Lehigh Tunnel

Southbound tunnel remains closed for repairs

WASHINGTON TWP., Pa. - A tractor-trailer driver died after a metal pole crashed through his windshield after falling from the Lehigh Tunnel.

State police and Turnpike officials are trying to determine what caused the beam to fall Wednesday night around 6 p.m. in the tunnel on Pennsylvania Turnpike's Northeast Extension.

The Lehigh County coroner said Howard Sexton, 70, was pronounced dead at the scene around 10:20 p.m.

The coroner said Sexton, of Mickleton, New Jersey, was driving a tractor-trailer through the tunnel when a metal conduit fell from the tunnel, broke through the truck's windshield and hit him in the head.

Police said the truck kept going for a mile before finally stopping on the shoulder. Police found Sexton dead in the truck.

The crash closed the southbound lanes of the highway from Mahoning Valley to Lehigh Valley overnight while Turnpike officials worked to repair the tunnel.

Around 8 a.m., crews opened the northbound lanes to two-way traffic while officials continue to work in the southbound lanes.

Mahoning Valley Interchange North of Lehigh Tunnel (Looking South Bound)
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