Poconos Coal

Tractor trailer takes out utility pole, plows into used car lot

Truck's driver told state police 'something happened' before crash

Tractor trailer takes out utility pole, plows into car lot

DEER LAKE, Pa. - A used car lot in Schuylkill County is cleaning up the pieces after a tractor trailer carrying scrap metal barreled out of control and smashed into a number of parked vehicles.

Officials said the crash happened around 10:15 a.m. Wednesday at Deer Lake Auto Sales, 1617 Centre Turnpike, also designated as Route 61, in Deer Lake, about seven miles north of Hamburg, Berks County.

"I could see smoke and a bunch of mangled cars," said Craig Wagner, who was working next to the lot at the time. "We were scrambling, calling 911, because we didn't know if there was somebody in the parking lot at that time."

Fortunately, no one was hurt.

According to a police report, the driver, identified as Christopher Reber, 48, of Schuylkill Haven, was traveling north when "something happened," and he veered off the road, first striking a guard rail and utility pole.

Fire and PPL crews were called to secure and clean up the scene, including spilled diesel fuel and debris.

"[Fuel] was all contained onto the black top, so it didn't get into the water source or anything," said Assistant Chief Mark Paul, Deer Lake Fire Company. "There's no hazards to the community anymore."

Five vehicles were damaged, including cars for sale and personal vehicles, officials said.

John Breslin, of Schuylkill County, said his son's parked truck was among those hit.

"He came down to visit a friend at the garage and parked his vehicle out front. He went inside and he was talking to his buddy and the lights went out in the shop and there was a loud bang," said Breslin. "It's tough. It's fortunate nobody got hurt. That's the big thing. Nobody got injured."

The sales lot owners were not on scene when 69 News arrived, but a voice message set by the business said they plan to reopen Thursday.

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Allentown, PA 18102





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