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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Tragedy in White Mills

  • A Hawley woman was killed instantly Tuesday afternoon in an accident which also left extensive damage to the fire hall in White Mills.


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  •  — A Hawley woman was killed instantly Tuesday afternoon in an accident which also left extensive damage to the fire hall in White Mills.
    According to the Pennsylvania State Police, Donna L. Chestnut, 39, was killed in the accident.
    Police said Chestnut was driving a 1998 Plymouth Breeze east on State Route 6 in front of the White Mills Fire Department building. According to the PSP, Chestnut apparently crossed over the double-yellow line and struck a westbound truck being driven by Christopher Adam Smith, 29, of Shavertown. The truck was a 10-ton Hino box truck and was a private U.S. Postal Service carrier.
    After the collision, Chestnut’s vehicle came to rest in the driveway area of the fire department.
    White Mills Fire Chief Michael Hill, who lives across the street from the fire department, said he spoke with the driver who said he tried everything in his power to swerve out of the way of the vehicle but was unable to avoid the collision.
    After the truck was struck by the car, it traveled south for a short distance and careened into the White Mills Fire Department building. It came to rest partially embedded inside the building, according to the report.
    That part of the incident caused considerable damage to the bingo hall area of the fire hall.
    It is unknown what caused Chestnut to swerve out of her lane and into oncoming traffic.
    The truck driver received moderate injuries and was taken to Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton.
    The driver’s car was extensively damaged and there was moderate damage to the truck.
    The fire chief said there is around $50,000 in damage to the fire hall. He also said a $30,000 floor recently installed  at the fire hall was heavily damaged by oil from the truck.
    He added the truck went between two I-beams of the fire hall and if it had struck either one, the entire building could have collapsed.
    Hill also reported that two fire police officers were taken to the hospital. One was for heat stroke and the other was struck by a vehicle while directing traffic. She was treated for minor injuries.
    “I felt bad for the lady but it could have been a whole lot worse,” said former fire chief Ken Batzel.
    The case is being investigated by Trooper John Chervanka and he is asking anyone who might have witnessed the crash to call PSP Honesdale at 570-253-7126.
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