State College

Here’s what led to the four-vehicle Interstate 99 crash Thursday

Alpha Fire Company responds to the scene of a multi-vehicle crash Thursday morning on Interstate 99.
Alpha Fire Company responds to the scene of a multi-vehicle crash Thursday morning on Interstate 99. ncobler@centrdaily.com

State police have released details on a four-vehicle crash that tied up traffic Thursday morning on Interstate 99 in Patton Township.

According to the report, officers responded to the crash shortly before 9 a.m. to the 71.5 mile marker within the construction zone along the interstate. Troopers reported that James E. Bentz, 60, of Tampa, Fla., was traveling north into the construction zone when he struck a car driven by Christian L. Lamana, 25, of Milroy.

Bentz allegedly stated he had been traveling faster than the posted speed and didn’t see traffic moving slower in the construction zone, police said. Lamana’s vehicle then struck a third vehicle driven by Rachel A. Griel, 49, of State College, causing it to become airborne and striking a fourth vehicle driven by Leonard Wysocki, 50, of Bellefonte.

Lamana’s vehicle traveled into the barrier on the east side of the roadway before coming to rest, police said. Griel’s vehicle also went off the east side of the road, hitting the barrier.

All operators, including a 19 year-old passenger in Griel’s vehicle and a 4-year-old passenger in Wysocki’s vehicle, were wearing seat belts, police said. Lamana and Griel’s passenger were taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center, while Griel was taken to Altoona Hospital.

State police were assisted on the scene by Alpha Fire Company, Mount Nittany EMS, PennDOT and Tennis Towing. Citations will be issued through District Judge Kelley Gillette-Walker.

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