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1 victim of I-80 pileup identified

Workers clean up a multivehicle crash on I -80 eastbound between Bellefonte and Lamar on Jan. 11. The accident happened about 12:30 a.m. and had two fatalities.
Workers clean up a multivehicle crash on I -80 eastbound between Bellefonte and Lamar on Jan. 11. The accident happened about 12:30 a.m. and had two fatalities. adrey@centredaily.com

The name of one of the two victims of the fatal multivehicle crash on Interstate 80 on Jan. 11 has been released.

The crash, which involved six vehicles, occurred at about 12:30 a.m., according to Centre County dispatchers, near exit 161-Bellefonte.

John D. Gaskin, 65, of Landover, Md., was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a report from Centre County Coroner Scott Sayers. His cause of death was blunt force trauma.

Sayers said he is still waiting on dental records to identify the other driver.

According to police, the crash happened when a tractor-trailer traveling east in Marion Township slid off the right side of the roadway and became partially disabled on the roadway. A second tractor-trailer — driven by Christopher Francisko, 51, of Kylertown — stopped in the right-hand lane of the interstate due to the blockage.

Francisko’s truck was struck by a third tractor-trailer, police said, “setting off a chain reaction crash,” causing another vehicle — driven by Jane Nakovski, 22, of Brewster, Mass. — to strike the third tractor-trailer.

A fourth tractor-trailer struck a vehicle — driven by Vasily Vlasyuk, 33, of Ramsey, Minn., police said. A fifth tractor-trailer — driven by Randall Norris, 45, of Lincoln, Ill. — struck the passenger side of the fourth tractor-trailer.

In addition to the deceased, two others suffered injuries.

I-80 eastbound between exits 161 and 173-Lamar was closed for most of Jan. 11, and didn’t re-open until 9:15 p.m. that night.

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