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Police: Crash, death likely from medical episode

Investigators believe the driver of this SUV crashed in the 1500 block of West Third Street early Thursday morning after going into cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead on arrival at the local hospital. PHILIP A. HOLMES/Sun-Gazette

A 54-year-old city motorist died Thursday morning after suffering an apparent medical episode behind the wheel that caused him to lose control of his SUV in the 1500 block of West Third Street and crash, according to Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr.

Jeffrey Drummond, of 661 Rose St., was traveling east on West Third Street about 6:40 a.m. when his Chevrolet Blazer went off the road, struck a fire hydrant and traveled through the large parking lot of Delta Galil Co., formerly Wundies, police said.

The out-of-control vehicle then plowed into some heavy brush before going over an embankment, police said. Officers estimated Drummond’s vehicle traveled 150 to 200 yards from the point it left the street to where it came from a stop.

Police said a few Delta Galil employees saw the SUV crash into the brush, which hid the accident from view.

Drummond was found “in cardiac arrest and resuscitative efforts were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead by Deputy Coroner Olivia Forney at 7 a.m.” at the UPMC Susquehanna Williamsport Regional Medical Center emergency room, Kiessling said.

“The investigation into the cause of death is still continuing, but it is believed to be due to a sudden cardiac event that precipitated the crash,” Kiessling said.

There were no visible signs of trauma to Drummond’s body, Kiessling said.

Concerning another fatal crash investigation, Kiessling said Thursday that the New York City man who was killed in Monday’s three-vehicle crash on Route 220 near Pennsdale was Paul Bendorius, 78.

Bendorius, one of the drivers, died of multiple blunt force trauma injuries, Kiessling said. A passenger in one of the other vehicles, Hurley Gordner, 97, of Hughesville, died Tuesday afternoon at UPMC. Three other people suffered minor injuries in the crash.