SCOTT TOWNSHIP -- As traffic slowed ahead of a construction zone on Interstate 81 north near Frackville Wednesday afternoon, a tractor-trailer rear-ended a pickup truck. Both went up in flames.
The chain-reaction crash killed a father and son headed home to Lackawanna County: Clem Novitsky, 79, and his son Kevin Novitsky, 52. The two were headed home from an auto auction.
They are well known in Scott Township for running Village Auto Sales on Heart Lake Road near Montdale.
"They were awesome, awesome business people," said Dave Duchnik of Scott Township, owner of Duchnik's Towing.
Duchnik is also in the car business in Scott Township. Duchnik's Towing does business with the Novitsky family. They share a career and now a sense of loss.
"The community has just taken so much of a loss this past year, between now the Novitsky family and my family. I feel the pain for them because what they're going to go through, you never imagine what it's like until it happens to yourself," Duchnik said.
This latest tragedy that killed Clem and Kevin Novitsky, he says, is another reminder of the highway's dangers hitting close to home.
"These interstates are so dangerous and people got to learn to slow down. Move over when you're coming into construction sites or you see vehicles," Duchnik added.
The tractor trailer driver who hit Clem and Kevin Novitsky was not hurt in Wednesday's crash. Another driver involved in the chain reaction, Brian Ketcham of Hop Bottom, was flown to a hospital with serious injuries.