Jayne Mansfield Remembered in Northampton County

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PEN ARGYL -- Today marks the 50th anniversary of the death of a Hollywood icon.

Actress Jayne Mansfield was killed in a crash that involved a tractor-trailer back in 1967.

Mansfield was laid to rest near Stroudsburg and on Thursday some of her biggest fans came to remember her and how her death sparked a change in safety on the road.

Just 10 miles south of Stroudsburg is Fairview Cemetery in Northampton County.

Frank Ferruggio from New Jersey comes here four times a year to take care of Mansfield's gravesite.

"I have been coming here since I was 14 years old, taking care of her grave and taking care of meaning. Her family isn't nearby so I make sure the stone is clean and I plant flowers," Ferruggio said.

Mansfield, who grew up in Pen Argyl, was killed in a crash involving a tractor-trailer in Louisiana back in 1967.

The car Mansfield was in slid underneath that trailer.

She and her children, including daughter and actress Mariska Hargitay, were all in the car.

Tom Sabatino from Pen Argyl remembers the Jane Mansfield funeral.

"It was a pretty big deal. A lot of movie stars were here like Sinatra and quite a few others. It was a big deal. We were kids, so we were able to see a lot because we were on our bikes so that is kind what, I remember," Sabatino recalled.

Jayne Mansfield's death helped lead to bars that are required on the back of every tractor-trailer. It's just the tip of the iceberg of the way safety has evolved in the trucking industry.

The "Mansfield Bar," also commonly referred to as ICC bar helps prevent a vehicle from sliding underneath a tractor-trailer.

Lou Holena is the general manager at Hunter Pocono Peterbilt near Stroudsburg. He says trucking safety is always changing to keep people safe on the road.

"Unfortunately, most safety issues, most safety precautions come because someone got injured. So quite often we learn from a tragedy. It is vital in trucking, as well as in your personal car, to keep the thing running as well as you possibly can," Holena said.

Safety on the road is just part of the Mansfield legacy being remembered in Northampton County.


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