Community in Shock Over Elderly Couple’s Death After Head-on Collision

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. -- Friends of an elderly couple killed in a crash in Luzerne County are mourning their sudden loss.

Jenkins Township police say Joseph and Gloria Lyons of Forty Fort died after a head-on collision Thursday night.

Laura Gaiterri reacts with stunned shock after learning her next-door neighbors were killed in a crash.

“I can't believe it, I cannot believe it, I just, no,” said Gaiterri.

Jenkins Township police say 83-year old Joseph and 80-year-old Gloria Lyons of Forty Fort died at the hospital after being involved in a head-on collision on a stretch of River Road around 5:40 Thursday night.

The crash shut down the busy road for hours.

Gaiterri was actually stuck in the backlogged traffic caused by the road closure.

“We were going over the 8th street, my daughter and I and they said there was a head-on by the railroad, head-on collision by the railroad,” said Gaiterri.

Forty Fort Mayor Andy Tuzinski knew the couple well, especially Joseph, who coached Tuzinski in Little League when the mayor was 9 and 10 years old.

“Both of them, a gentleman and a lady in the truest sense of the word,” said Tuzinski. “They maintained a beautiful home in Forty Fort, a modest, but beautiful home in Forty Fort.”

Gaiterri says the Lyons have lived next door since she moved to the borough nearly 50 years ago.

“I can't even imagine, I can't imagine not seeing them, I can't imagine it,” said Gaiterri.

Police say the driver and passenger of the other vehicle involved also went to the hospital.

A nearby business owner on River Road says he saw one of the vehicles pushed onto the grass, which is littered with debris from the crash. That business owner did not want to talk on camera but tells me he sees at least two crashes a year here on River Road.

Now Gaiterri says her only solace is that the couple is now together forever.

“The only thing is they went together because they were so close, he was such a family man and she was such as family, they were just all very, very close family.”

Jenkins Township police say the cause of the deadly crash remains under investigation.

 

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