One man is dead and another charged with vehicular homicide following a crash Friday morning at the on-ramp to Interstate 78 from Route 61 near Hamburg.
It marked the third fatal crash on I-78 in northern Berks County this week. Two crashes within hours of each other earlier this week claimed 4 lives on the interstate.
Fatal Crash on I-78 Near Hamburg Claims 1 Life
According to State Police in Hamburg, the crash happened at about 5:42 a.m. Friday. They say a box truck crashed into the back of a tractor trailer at the westbound on-ramp to I-78 in Tilden Township.
Police believe the box truck, driven by Jamie Sanchez, 44, of Bridgeport, CT, was traveling westbound on the interstate at the time of the crash.
On the ramp at the same time was a disabled tractor-trailer driven by Andrae Cornelius Riley Bland, 42, of Fresno, CA. Bland has his 4-way lights activated.
Police say Sanchez drove into the back of Bland’s truck, hitting it with the passenger side of his box truck.
Sanchez had a passenger in the vehicle with him at the time but that person did not survive the crash. A representative from the Berks County Coroner’s office pronounced them dead at the scene.
Police have not released the identity of that passenger.
Sanchez was taken to Reading Hospital for treatment of moderate injuries. Bland was uninjured.
Later Friday, District Judge Kim Bagenstose conducted a bedside arraignment of Sanchez on charges of vehicular homicide, illegal gun possession, receiving stolen property, and other related charges.
Bagenstose denied Sanchez bail. Once he’s released from the hospital, he’ll be taken to Berks County Prison, police say.