Bicyclist Dies after Crash with Vehicle in Schuylkill County

KLINE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A bicyclist died following a collision with a vehicle in Schuylkill County.

It happened around 1:15 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Kelayres Road and Cedar Street in Kline Township.

Thomas Barletta, 64, of Kelayres, died as a result of injuries in the collision after being taken to a hospital, according to the coroner.

People who knew Barletta considered him the unofficial mayor of their small community.

"He always was smiling. He was also happy," said Joseph Phillips.

"When he was in Kelayres and even in McAdoo, he would be riding the bike or else he'd be over at the post office and he always stopped to talk to you," said Kline Township supervisor Carmen Cara.

Kline Township police say Barletta was riding his bike on Kelayres Road near Cedar Street when he collided with a jeep. He later died at the hospital.

"The accident had just taken place so I pulled over off the road and I seen that it was Tommy that was hit," said Cara.

Newswatch 16 met Barletta five months ago. He was clearing snow from the sidewalks.

"That's Tommy. He was a good guy. He used to clear the snow from the church and he cleared it from the apartment building he was at," Cara said.

Barletta was considered a fixture in the community.

"We used to call him the mayor of Kelayres. That was like the nickname I gave him and some other people because he knew everybody in town and he would always talk to them. No matter who he'd see on the street, he would always stop to talk to them," Joseph Phillips said.

"It's a little strange that you see a guy like that every day. You don't think all of a sudden he's not going to be around anymore. It makes you think hard, you know? You're here today, gone today," Cara added.

The crash is still under investigation.

Kline Township police have called in a state police crash reconstructionist to help them investigate. If you saw the crash, police ask you to contact them.

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