Several Hurt in Pickup Crash in Snyder County

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PERRY TOWNSHIP -- A crash Monday morning in Snyder County sent six people to the hospital.

Route 104 near Mount Pleasant Mills was closed for more than six hours as crews cleaned up.

According to state police, the first crash just happened after 6:30 a.m. The driver of a pickup truck fell asleep behind the wheel, hit a guide rail, and landed in a creek.

The Ford F-150 had six men inside but it was only built for five people. Pennsylvania law says you cannot have more people inside a vehicle than you have seat belts for.

"Too many people in the car. There's not enough restraint systems and then you can have ejections in a crash," said Middleburg Police Officer David Shaffer.

The driver of that pickup truck, Theodore Martin, 22, of Swengel, is listed in serious condition at Geisinger Medical Center. His passengers, Richard and Melvin Zimmerman, John and Mervin Reiff, and Eric Martin, all of Mifflinburg were also taken to the hospital.

Three other men were trapped inside the truck and one was thrown out.

Investigators say after the crash, one of the people inside the truck got out and walked onto Route 104. He was then hit by a passing car.

Authorities say the six men were on their way home from work. The men caught chickens on farms for processing. Chicken catching is usually done overnight and state police say that could be why Swengel fell asleep behind the wheel.

State police say the driver of the truck could face a summary charge for having too many people inside his vehicle.

"Things around in the vehicle move when it's unrestrained. Too many people in the back, you have bodies flying in different directions. That can hurt somebody else, not just the objects in the vehicle. Your body becomes an object," said Officer Shaffer.

Along with the driver, one of the passengers is in serious condition.  Three of the other passengers are in critical condition, and the condition of the sixth man is not known.

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