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Lehigh Valley Local News

It’s been a dangerous and deadly week on Lehigh Valley roadways

Rt. 378 in Bethlehem
Donna S. Fisher
For LehighValleyNews.com
Rt. 378 near its intersection with 8th Avenue in Bethlehem.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Within 48 hours, three people were killed and many others injured in collisions and crashes on Lehigh Valley roadways, officials said.

All three of the deadly incidents occurred within a 24-hour period beginning at 10:09 p.m. Monday.

According to a news release, police were dispatched to Route 378 northbound in the area of Catasauqua Road in Bethlehem. Upon arrival, officers found a two-vehicle accident involving a sedan and tractor-trailer.

The driver of the sedan, Ricardo Lee of Upper Milford Township, was unresponsive at the scene and was transported to an area hospital, where he later died, officials said.

On Tuesday, the Lehigh County Coroner’s Office ruled Lee’s death accidental due to multiple blunt force injuries sustained in the crash.

According to police, both vehicles were traveling northbound on Route 378 when Lee’s vehicle hit the rear of the tractor-trailer at a high speed.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to contact police at (610) 865-7000 or email BethlehemPolice@bethlehem-pa.gov.

Two additional fatalities

Just after 1 p.m. Tuesday, first responders were dispatched to a crash in the area of Holbens Valley Road and Five Point Road in Weisenberg Township.

In that incident, police found a vehicle had left the roadway and hit a tree. The coroner’s office identified the driver Christopher Baines, 58, of Weisenberg Township.

Baines died of multiple blunt force injuries, Lehigh County Coroner Dan Buglio said Wednesday.

About seven hours later, a fatal crash also was reported on Newburg Road in Lower Nazareth Township, dispatchers confirmed.

Colonial Regional Police and the Northampton County Coroner’s Office did not immediately respond to messages seeking details on that crash.

Six crashes on Route 22

On Tuesday, Bethlehem troopers investigated a total of six crashes on Route 22, Trooper Nathan Branosky said.

Three of them were at Route 22 and Route 191, including two incidents just seven minutes apart. They included:

  • A crash involving three vehicles in the eastbound lanes at 6:54 a.m. It involved three vehicles, and two people were transported to St. Luke’s Hospital’s Anderson campus. 
  • A crash in the westbound lanes involving four vehicles at 7:01 a.m. There were no injuries in that incident, Branosky said. 
  • A crash in the eastbound lanes at 10:25 a.m. It involved four vehicles, and four people were transported to St. Luke’s Anderson.

Branosky said throughout Troop M, troopers investigated a total of 20 motor vehicle crashes on Tuesday, including the fatal crash in Weisenberg Township being investigated by PSP Fogelsville.