Deadly Hit and Run; Men Hit While Changing Tire on Interstate 81

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GREENFIELD TOWNSHIP -- Two men were hit while changing a tire on the side of Interstate 81 in northern Lackawanna County. One of the men died at the hospital.

State police said three men from New York were traveling in a pickup truck on Interstate 81 South between the Lenoxville and Fleetville exits Tuesday afternoon. A tire popped and the men pulled over to put on a spare.

Dave Fahey of Lansdale was also going south and saw them on the right shoulder.

"Next thing I know I see bits and pieces flying and I see the one guy go down. And there was a second guy that was hit also. That's all I really saw. I got hit by a flying tire, but you know, I didn't see who did what ahead of me. Everybody was just going so fast," Fahey told Newswatch 16.

Troopers say around 12:15 p.m., John Fiore, 57, of Clay New York, and another man were hit by another pickup hauling three or four cars on a trailer. Both men were taken to the hospital.

John Fiore later passed way from his injuries.

Tow truck driver Dave Duchnik was one of the first to respond to the 911 call.

"These poor people were changing a tire on their own, but they had it all but done. The tire is on the vehicle. Whatever vehicle hit them, we don't know. Apparently, we don't believe it ever stopped," Duchnik said.

Duchnik's presence had a sad significance. Earlier this year, his son and business partner was killed on Interstate 81 just 10 miles south. The father and son responded to a crash back in August. Dave Duchnik Jr. was also hit on the side of the highway.

The tow crew now wears his name on their sleeves and continues to go to a place proven again to be very dangerous.

"My family, my daughter-in-law, my wife, my daughter, we are going through something that I would never wish on my worst enemy. But basically, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. I have to move on. Basically, I just want to get the message out there, everybody please slow down and move over," Duchnick added.

State police are now hoping for the public's help in finding the truck that hit the two men from New York and took off. They're looking for a light colored pick up truck with a red trailer carrying three or four cars on it. Anyone with information is asked to call State Police in Dunmore at 570-963-3156.


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