Police seeking turnpike vehicle
The suspected vehicle
Police are seeking information on the vehicle that lost a tire on the turnpike, damaging this car and injuring a family from New York. COPYRIGHT LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
The suspected vehicle
The incident on the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike that happened on Friday when a tire on a rim crashed through the windshield of a vehicle resulted in a mother and her 7-year-old son being seriously hurt. A third person in the vehicle sustained minor injuries while two other children were uninjured.
State Police at Pocono are continuing their investigation into the incident.
According to police, the Griswold family of Elbridge, New York, was driving south on the turnpike at the 83.2 mile marker in Penn Forest Township, between the Route 903 EZ-Pass Exchange and the Mahoning Valley Interchange, when the incident happened at about 5 p.m.
Police said a tire on a rim and partial axle from a Caterpillar forklift that was airborne hit the windshield of the family’s 2015 Ford Explorer. The tire entered the passenger side of the Explorer and hit the front passenger and the child seated in the third row of the van.
Two helicopters and several ambulances were used to transport the victims.
Heather Griswold and her son, Davis, 7, had major injuries and were flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital.
According to a fundraising site for the family, Heather and Davis “are both fighting very hard to heal from injuries. The have several surgeries, hospital stays and recovery ahead of them.”
The report says Mike Griswold, Heather’s husband who was driving the vehicle, suffered minor injuries. He and the other two children, Reed, 6, and Violet, 4, who were not hurt, were transported to the St. Luke’s Hospital-Gnaden Huetten Campus in Lehighton.
Police are looking for a white tractor-trailer that was traveling north on the turnpike at the time of the crash. The tractor was hauling a flatbed trailer with three yellow and black forklifts on the trailer. The cab of the trailer had a skull image decal on the right side. Witnesses said the tractor-trailer exited the turnpike at the Pocono interchange and traveled on Interstate 80 West.
The family was reportedly driving southbound toward Allentown, reportedly to visit friends for the weekend in Pennsylvania, when the tire came crashing through the Griswolds’ windshield, hitting Heather in the head and then striking Davis.
Members of the Franklin Township Fire Company helped extricate the family from the vehicle and established landing zones on the southbound lanes. Also on scene were members of the Troop N forensics services unit and collision accident reconstruction units. Lehighton ambulance and turnpike maintenance personnel were also on scene.