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Centre Hall Man Killed in Multi-Vehicle Accident

by on June 06, 2016 3:46 PM

Police believe glare from the early morning sun may have set off a chain-reaction crash that killed a Centre Hall man.

William Steven Smiles, 47, was pronounced dead at the scene of a four-vehicle accident on the 1900 block of Earlystown Road/Route 45 in Harris Township on Monday morning.

State College Police Lt. Keith Robb said police believe the accident began at about 6:40 a.m. as Barbara Dean of Boalsburg was traveling eastbound on Earlystown Road in a Ford F-150 pickup truck when the sun got in her eyes and she accidentally crossed the double yellow lines into the westbound lane.

The pickup sideswiped a Peterbilt tri-axle dump truck carrying a load of stone and driven by Robert Queen of Irvona, Pa., and a Chevrolet Silverado pickup driven by Andrew Gill of Kreamer, Pa. After his dump truck was struck, Queen lost control of the vehicle and crossed into the eastbound lane, striking Smiles' Saturn Ion head-on.

Robb said the dump truck went over the Saturn and up a hillside before overturning. Centre County Coroner Scott Sayers was called to the scene and pronounced Smiles dead.

Queen and Dean were both transported to Mount Nittany Medical Center. Robb said their injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. Gill was uninjured.

The road was closed between Boal Avenue and Route 144 from the time of the accident until 1 p.m.

Robb said police will conduct a full inspection of the truck to determine what exact factor caused Queen to lose control, but noted that Queen was not at fault.

"The tri-axle truck had no control after it was sideswiped," Robb said. "He had no fault, no control of the vehicle after the impact."

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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