Hillsgrove motorcycle crash kills 1, another in ‘very serious’ condition

HILLSGROVE — A beautiful spring day to enjoy the open air on a motorcycle turned tragic late Saturday morning when a Williamsport couple on a cycle and a pickup truck collided in the center of the borough, killing the husband and seriously injuring his wife, according to investigators.

State police believe the 58-year-old husband was operating the cycle while his wife was a passenger when the crash occurred in front of McCarty Mercantile on Route 87 about 11 a.m.

Each one was thrown off the cycle when the collision occurred, investigators said.

Police said neither was wearing a helmet.

Their identities and that of the truck driver were not released Saturday night.

Hillsgrove Fire Chief William Stabryla was in the store having a cup of coffee at the time of the crash. People in the store did not hear it.

“Three young people came running in the store and one said ‘A motorcyclist hit a truck,’ “ Stabryla said.

The store’s owner called 911.

Stabryla said he first saw a woman on the pavement in the middle of the street. Initially, he thought she was the only one on the cycle.

“She then asked ‘How’s my husband,” Stabryla said.

The fire chief said he then spotted a critically-injured man in the truck’s bed, having landed there after hitting the windshield.

Police said the truck was heading south and turned left (east) onto Robbins Road, directly into the path of the cycle. The front tire on the cycle hit the front passenger side of the truck, police said.

Both the husband and wife were taken in ambulances to the UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport Regional Medical Center. The husband was pronounced dead in the emergency room at 12:06 p.m., Jerold Ross, the county’s chief deputy coroner, said.

“What a god-awful shame,” a woman said as she walked past the wreckage.

“This is a sad day here,” Stabryla said.

The wife was transported to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville. Her condition was not known Saturday night, however, Ross said “She’s in very serious condition I’ve been told.”

Firefighters from the borough, Eldresville and Plunketts Creek Township responded to the crash. A portion of the two-lane road was closed until 5:20 p.m. Volunteer fire police and employees from the state Department of Transportation detoured traffic around the crash until a team of accident reconstructionists were done with their on-scene investigation.