Car went airborne during crash on Interstate 81 in Ryan Twp., first responder says

Dec. 28—One man was seriously injured when the car he was driving left the northbound lanes of Interstate 81 in Ryan Twp., hit a tractor-trailer and went down a 50-foot embankment off the southbound lanes.

"He was actually 100% airborne when he struck the tractor-trailer," said Ryan Twp. Fire Company Deputy Chief Matt Morgan.

Morgan said firefighters were called to the area of mile marker 129.2 just before 3 p.m. Monday for a report of a vehicle accident with ejection and entrapment.

Morgan said the man, who was not immediately identified, was northbound when he drove his car off the left side of the road and struck a guardrail at the bridge that spans Burma Road, causing the car to become airborne.

The car hit a southbound tractor-trailer, which didn't have any noticeable damage. The driver, who wasn't injured, told troopers the car "came out of nowhere."

The impact caused the car to go over a guardrail along the southbound lanes and down the embankment, Morgan said.

Morgan said the man was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown into his car's back seat. Rescuers used hydraulic tools to free him.

He was secured in a rescue basket and brought up the hill to an ambulance waiting at the highway. He was taken by Ryan Twp. EMS to a landing site and then flown by helicopter to a trauma center.

Ryan Twp. firefighters were assisted by volunteers from Delano and Frackville, along with Mahanoy City EMS and paramedics from Schuylkill EMS.

Morgan said firefighters sent a crew of five people to search the woods with thermal imaging cameras, but they determined only one person was in the vehicle and that no one had been ejected.

State police at Frackville are investigating the crash but did not release any details as of Tuesday evening.