Township Supervisor And Friend Die In Crash

MAHONING TOWNSHIP — One of two women killed in a crash early Friday in Carbon County was a township supervisor.

The women were in a car that crashed into the side of a mountain near Jim Thorpe.

The flag at the Mahoning Township municipal building now flies at half-staff to honor and mourn the loss of township supervisor Linda Benner.

Police say she was the driver of a car which crashed into the side of a mountain along Reroute 209 near Jim Thorpe.

A passenger, her friend Bonita Aniskevich died at a hospital.

Her aunt, Joan Armsbruster, is heartbroken.

“She loved both her children very dearly. She worked very hard. She had some problems but she got over all her problems and got back to herself.” Armbruster explained.

Pam Gothard was close to township supervisor Benner. Gothard said the public official was known for her community involvement.

“We have our Pink White Walk on Tuesday and it’s going to be very hard on everybody because she chaired that program.”

Fellow Supervisor Frank Ruch agrees.

“She was also on the Carbon County health care. She was a lion, I believe, in the Lehighton Lions Club,” Ruch explained.

Police say both victims were neighbors in the village of Packerton. Neighbors who were too upset to talk on camera say they will be missed.

Armsbruster said she wonders what caused the crash.

“I don’t know what but something definitely went wrong.”

Police are investigating why the car went out of control. They say speed was not a factor. They do know the women were not wearing seat belts.  Investigators say if they had, the duo might have lived.

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