Passenger dies in Interstate 79 collision

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A passenger in a car traveling Interstate 79 north died and the driver was injured Wednesday when the vehicle collided with a utility truck in Amwell Township.


The female driver lost control of her car about 4:25 p.m. just south of the highway’s Marianna exit, causing the vehicle to spin and collide with a West Penn Power line repair truck also traveling north during a snowfall, state police said.


The passenger, Sarah Marie Graham, 20, of Frederick, Md., was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:40 p.m. by Washington County Coroner Tim Warco, who said she died of blunt force injuries. The driver of the Ford sedan was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital, Warco said.


He said the driver of the car was traveling in the passing lane when it swerved into the guardrail before striking the truck, which was traveling in the right lane.


The car came to rest along the northbound berm. Vehicle rescue crews from the Amwell Township and Lone Pine fire departments were called the scene. The investigation resulted in the closure of highway’s two northbound for more than three hours. Traffic there was rerouted onto nearby Route 19.


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