A Hereford Township couple was killed after their car collided with two other vehicles in a chain reaction crash in Upper Hanover Friday afternoon.
State police, Skippack barracks, said Theodore Hiriak Jr., 73, and his wife, Mary Ann, 69, were south on Route 29 at 12:46 July 20 when a northbound 2000 Jeep Cherokee turned in front of them to travel onto Palm Hill Road.
Authorities said the Jeep, driven by 18-year-old William Ludlow of East Greenville, hit the Hiriaks’ 2006 Chrysler Sebring and sent it straight into the path of a Nissan Pathfinder. The 1997 Nissan was reportedly northbound on Route 29.
Police said the Nissan, driven by Amanda Berthoud, 21, of Hereford, collided with the passenger side of the Chrysler.
Authorities reported the couple was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital by ambulance but were pronounced dead shortly afterward. Personnel from the Lehigh County Coroner’s Office said the time of death was approximately 1:43 p.m. and that both died from blunt force trauma.
A passenger in the Nissan, Linda Spohn, 45, of Hereford also sustained moderate injuries. Police said she was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash. She was treated at Lehigh Valley Hospital and released.
All three vehicles involved in the crash had to be towed from the scene.
Police said neither of the other drivers or a passenger in the Jeep, Rosemary Heffner, 67, of East Greenville, was injured.
Route 29 was closed until 4:50 p.m. for an investigation. East Greenville, Hereford and Pennsburg fire companies, Upper Perk, Green Lane and Bally ambulance companies and Red Hill fire police assisted at the scene.
Val Bertoia, the Hiriaks’ neighbor for more than 40 years on Captain Wolfe Road in Hereford, said the couple is already missed.
“Ted and Mary Ann were the best neighbors in the world,” he said, recalling helping to build treehouses for their three daughters when they were growing up and, more recently, seeing their grandchildren at their home.
“They were always there to help and they were always considerate. Certainly they are very missed. The Hiriaks were beautiful people. There are a lot of tears and we feel very empty without them.”
The couple reportedly celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in May.
A funeral mass will be held Friday beginning at 11 a.m. at St. Philip Neri Church in Pennsburg. Arrangements are by Warker-Troutman Funeral Home, Pottstown.
Police have not filed any charges against the driver of the Jeep to date. This case continues.