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Armstrong man killed in Washington Township wreck

Chuck Biedka
| Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, 9:13 a.m.
A firefighter responds to a motorcycle fatality on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, on Route 366 and Route 66 in Washington Township.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
A firefighter responds to a motorcycle fatality on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, on Route 366 and Route 66 in Washington Township.

A Bethel Township man is dead after a wreck involving a tractor-trailer and a motorcycle in Washington Township on Tuesday morning.

Anthony J. Reefer, 23, of Spruce Hollow Road died about 6:30 a.m. at the intersection of Routes 66 and 366 when his motorcycle struck the rear of a tractor-trailer.

Westmoreland County Deputy Coroner Joshua C. Zappone said speed and the foggy weather were contributing factors in the death, which was ruled an accident.

Zappone said Reefer died from trauma to his head, neck and chest. An autopsy won't be done, but blood work has been ordered from Reefer, who was wearing a helmet.

Police and township firefighters restricted traffic at the intersection for more than three hours while state police accident reconstruction teams investigated.

Washington Township police Chief Scott Slagle said Reefer was driving a 2011 Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle southbound on Route 66 at high speed.

The tractor-trailer was making a left turn onto Route 366 from Route 66.

“The truck had almost completed its turn when it was hit in the back of the trailer by the motorcycle,” Slagle said.

An off-duty Vandergrift police officer saw the wreck aftermath and called 911. “Witnesses said the motorcycle was being driven at a very high rate of speed,” Slagle said. “He had passed several cars just prior to the wreck.”

Police are investigating .

The truck driver was identified only as a 43-year-old man from the Chambersburg area. He was driving a truck for Scott's Hauling & Excavating of Chambersburg. The company didn't return calls for comment.

The truck driver was taken to a hospital for a mandatory blood test.

State police mechanics will examine the motorcycle and truck, Slagle said.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4711 or cbiedka@tribweb.com.

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