MAYFIELD — State police in Lackawanna County are investigating a crash over the weekend that killed a Good Samaritan who pulled over to help another driver change a flat tire.
One person is dead and at least one other is still in the hospital following that crash Saturday night. It happened near the Mayfield exit going westbound on the Casey Highway (Route 6).
Michael Natali of Waymart was parked with a flat tire. Richard Cummings of Scranton had stopped to help him and now state troopers are trying to figure out what happened next that left Cummings dead.
Bits of broken glass and plastic are still scattered on the median along the Casey Highway near the Mayfield exit. State police say it was there that Michael Natali pulled over because he had a flat tire late Saturday night. Not long after, Richard Cummings from Scranton also pulled over and started helping Natali.
Police don’t know how far along they got replacing the tire before an SUV came barreling toward the median. The SUV driven by Mary Elizabeth Timko of Simpson hit both cars, both men, and then overturned.
Troopers say Richard Cummings was killed instantly. So far, charges have not been filed against the driver of the SUV. Troopers say they’re still investigating the crash.
According to hospital officials, Natali is recovering at Geisinger-Community Medical Center in Scranton. There is no word on whether he knew Cummings.
Officials from Geisinger-CMC say Natali is in satisfactory condition. There is no word on the condition of a 17-year-old passenger in Natali’s car who was also hit.
The Lackawanna County coroner’s office did an autopsy on Cummings Sunday but they won’t determine a manner of death until state troopers finish their investigation.