LAKE HAUTO, PA — A man died Saturday when the car he was driving crashed into another vehicle and caught fire in Rush Township.
The crash occurred just after 3 p.m. on Route 54, about a mile east of the entrance to Lake Hauto to the west and near the Schuylkill-Carbon county line to the east.
The driver of the Buick was pronounced dead at the scene at 3:41 p.m. by Schuylkill County Deputy Coroner Edward Smith, Tamaqua.
Smith said the identity of the victim was not being released until his next of kin are notified.
Rescuers from Tamaqua, Hometown and surrounding communities worked to free two people from inside the other vehicle, a white SUV, that came to a stop over an embankment alongside the westbound lane.
It took firefighters about 35 minutes to remove the occupants from the SUV and get them into awaiting ambulances.
Both the driver and passenger were taken to area hospitals by ambulance for treatment of what officials said were non-life-threatening injuries.
The Buick came to a stop partially off the eastbound lane, facing west.
State police at Frackville are investigating the crash with the assistance of their Collision Analysis Reconstruction Section division.
The crash and subsequent investigation forced investigators to close Route 54 east at the Hometown Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and west just past the Carbon County line.
The road was closed for more than five hours with fire police from Hometown, Quakake and Tamaqua directing drivers onto alternate routes.
EMS units from Tamaqua, McAdoo and Lehighton treated the injured while Quakake and Nesquehoning firefighters assisted at the scene.
Police said that additional information on the crash will be made available as the investigation continues.