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Two Killed in Crash on Rt. 309

Report: Victims were pushing a disabled vehicle off the roadway when they were struck from behind by a SUV

Pennsylvania State Police said two people were killed shortly before 1:30 p.m. Monday afternoon in a crash on the northbound lanes of Route 309 between East Valley Green Road and Camp Hill Road at the eastern edge of Whitemarsh Township.

Pennsylvania State Police closed 309 northbound just before the Paper Mill Road interchange from shortly after the crash until about 6:30 p.m. Monday.

"All northbound traffic is being diverted on Church Road then northbound on Bethlehem Pike," Whitemarsh Police Chief Michael Beaty told Patch at 3:30 p.m. Monday.

Montgomery County Public Safety radio reports indicated severe backups near the Paper Mill Road and Route 73 interchanges with Route 309.

Breaking News Network, a service that monitors emergency radio transmissions, reported that the victims were pushing a disabled vehicle on the roadway when they were struck from behind by another vehicle. It was not immediately clear whether the disabled vehicle was in the middle of the roadway or on the shoulder. WCAU-TV cited an unidentified police source who reportedly said the two people were trying to push a disabled sedan off the roadway when they were struck by a SUV.

A maroon or burgundy-colored SUV was visible at the scene in one of the middle lanes of the roadway. Investigators were seen taking photographs of the vehicle from several angles, as well as photos of its interior. A stretcher could be seen in front of the vehicle.

After initially allowing access to the area, state police formed a human barricade to prevent a Patch reporter from taking additional photographs of the accident scene, then declared the scene "closed" and escorted the reporter off the roadway.

Update 2:35 p.m. Route 309 northbound is being closed just before Paper Mill Road.

Update 2:31 p.m. Pennsylvania State Police have confirmed that two people are dead following the crash. Police are turning away traffic from the Route 309 interchanges at Route 73 and Paper Mill Road. Traffic is said to be near a complete standstill in both areas.

Update 2:14 p.m. Breaking News Network, a service that monitors emergency radio broadcasts, reports that two people were pushing a disabled vehicle on Route 309 when they were struck from behind by another vehicle.

A representative from the Montgomery County Coroner's office is said to be en route to the scene. 

Update 2:08 p.m. County public safety radio reports indicate that local police are working with Pennsylvania State Police to determine precisely where to close the road. The road is expected to be closed for at least two hours while a crash investigation takes place. There is a very large backup of cars in both directions on Skippack Pike (PA 73) in the vicinity of Route 309. Avoid the area.

Initial story below

Two people are dead following an afternoon crash in the northbound lanes of Route 309, according to Montgomery County public safety radio reports.

The crash occurred shortly before 1:30 p.m. in the northbound lanes of Route 309 near mile marker 4.

A reporter is en route to the scene. We'll update this story with additional details when they are available.

John Eric Schneider May 15, 2012 at 06:25 PM
I'm in agreement with William Gift, when it comes to fatal accidents, respect is always in order. The first responders in this area know how to do that very well. While police said on Monday that the victims were pushing the car, the coroner told Action News today that, in fact, the male driver got out of the lincoln to look under the hood and the female passenger was still in the car.
Joseph Johny May 16, 2012 at 02:51 PM
My Name is Joseph Johny best friend of Richard Guerrier who was died on Monday with her Mother, Richard and me was at the same school when he was in Haiti I'm sorry for the accident i said R.I.P for my best friend Richard.
Ed Phillips May 16, 2012 at 04:33 PM
I think there are too many assumptions without known facts. If they were in a middle lane it may have been unavoidable. If they were on the side it should have been avoidable. Either way it's sad and doesn't matter where the people are from. I'll be sure to mention to my teenage son to never allow the car to slow down or stop in the middle, always try to get to the side. Put the flashers on as soon as you know you have a problem. Be extremely wary getting out of a car , even on the side of the road with people going 60-80MPH
Lisa May 18, 2012 at 02:47 PM
I would like to know whether charges are going to be filed against the driver. Was she texting? Was she driving above the speed limit? Was she sober? Many questions unanswered. Regarding the two people who died, I am extremely sorry for what happened, and I have been thinking about it every day. I pass this way every single evening on my way home to work, as I get off at the FW exit to go home. I can't help but remember the unfortunate victims of this terrible accident. God bless and be with the surviving family members and friends during this difficult time.
North Wales May 24, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Although texting, talking on the phone and speeding can all have serious consequences, it certainly does not take one of these scenarios to cause a fatal accident. Accidents happened long before cell phones and focusing on this one type of distraction overshadows the many other possibilities that drivers need to be aware of. How many times have you been tired while driving or distracted by your children fighting in the back seat? And Big Jon is definitely not alone. It's almost impossible not to speed on this stretch of 309, when many drivers are going at least 80 to 90 mph. Going the actual speed limit almost puts your life at risk. I've driven this highway more times than I can count and sadly, I would estimate the average speed to be about 75 mph. I think the fact that construction has finally cleared up (for the most part) after many, many years has drivers traveling this stretch going even faster! I also think that anyone with a disabled vehicle needs to do their best to get to a safe location- far away from the vehicle! These are certainly not the first two people to have died in this manor. This accident was terrible, but what is also terrible is the fact that people think that the driver must have been a complete idiot- either by texting or speeding- to cause such a disaster. The truth is, this could happen to anyone and we all need to become safer drivers.

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