Route 15 closed for hours after troopers become ill at crash site Saturday

ALLENWOOD — A routine one-car crash investigation late Saturday afternoon on Route 15 suddenly turned into a hazardous-materials emergency that shut down the highway for several hours and sent two state troopers to a hospital after they became ill from exposure to suspected fentanyl, Lt. Travis Doebler, patrol commander at the Montoursville barracks said Monday morning.

A woman, whose identity was not released, lost control of her vehicle, which overturned near the Purity Candy Store in Gregg Township about 4:30 p.m., police said.

A resident across the street helped her out of the car, fire officials said.

The driver declined treatment and was taken into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence of either alcohol or a controlled substance, Doebler said.

Two troopers investigating the crash became ill soon after opening the woman’s purse and discovering drugs in it, Doebler said. One trooper was administered Narcan, he said. Both troopers were treated at a hospital, discharged and have already been cleared to return to duty, the commander said.

The highway was shut down for an extended period of time as a special state police hazardous material team, which consists of troopers throughout the commonwealth, assembled, responded to the crash site, ‘isolated the substance” and decontaminated the area, Doebler said.

The drugs will be sent to a state police lab for analysis.

Volunteer fire police and the state Department of Transportation detoured traffic around the site until 11 p.m. when the hazardous materials team’s work was done.


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