by Jonathan Weaver
An Adrian man died yesterday afternoon following a two-vehicle crash in East Franklin Township.
According to State Police from the Kittanning barracks, about 3:30PM, Larry Montgomery, 28 was traveling north along Route 268 and lost control of his 2005 Hyundai Sonata sedan as he was negotiating a right-hand curve.
Montgomery’s vehicle then struck a 1994 Ford Super Duty Flatbed tow truck driven by Robert Rumbaugh, 50 of Chicora as Rumbaugh was traveling south, causing the tow truck to also veer out of control.
The sedan struck a utility pole near the intersection with Pine Street and might have killed Montgomery on-impact.
East Franklin Township Fire Chief Mark Feeney said that firefighters tried to extricate Montgomery from the vehicle so he could be assessed for injuries.
“We couldn’t get into him until we got the roof up off the car,” Chief Feeney said. “It looked like the telephone pole went through the passenger side door about 10-12 inches. He flew – because he didn’t have a seat belt on – from the driver’s seat into the telephone pole and that passenger side door and was trapped there. The roof buckled down and had him pinned.”
Coroner Brian Myers pronounced Montgomery and determined the cause of death.
“An autopsy will not be performed. The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and thorax,” Myers said.
Montgomery’s smashed Sonata was towed from the intersection by Morris Towing.
“A high rate of speed” was a determining cause for the accident according to the State Police report.
Rumbaugh was not reportedly injured.
East Franklin Township firefighters were assisted by Applewold, Washington Township and Kittanning Hose Company #1 firefighters – the latter assisting with traffic control to block off entrance to the crime scene about a half-mile from the East Franklin Township main fire station.
Chief Deputy Bob Bellas also responded with Myers, as did County Sheriff Bill Rupert.
Montgomery – who is remembered as “Bear” to family and friends – was reportedly a former Washington Township firefighter
State Police are continuing to investigate the incident.