Thursday November 1, 2012

WILLIAMSTOWN -- An 81-year-old Williamstown resident was killed in Pennsylvania Monday night in a traffic accident that took place during Hurricane Sandy.

Alice Hynes of Henderson Road died when a car driven by her daughter, Abigail O'Connor, went off a snow- and slush-covered road and rolled into a farm pond at 9:36 p.m. in Upper Turkey Foot Township, according to Pennsylvania State Police. The town is located some 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh in Somerset County. The storm dumped more than a foot of snow on portions of the county, according to WJAC-TV in Johnstown, Pa.

According to the police, O'Connor was not injured and freed herself from the 2011 Honda CRV. But Hynes was trapped under water, and her daughter was unable to free her. Hynes was taken to Somerset Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Both women were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.

State Police initially suspected that Hynes had drowned, but she was actually killed on impact, said Wallace Miller of the Somerset County Coroner's Office, which performed an autopsy on her body.

The accident is still under investigation, said State Police Corporal Stephen Adamczyk.

"It was tragic," Adamczyk said.

O'Connor lives in Confluence, Pa. According to police, she was driving southbound on Kingwood Road when she lost control of the Honda, crossed the yellow double centerline, and traveled across the northbound lane, before her car rolled over into the pond.

Hynes was removed from the vehicle by members of the New Centerville & Rural Volunteer Fire Co.

"It was a valiant effort by the New Centerville firemen and the Markeysburg EMS worked heroically on Mrs. Hynes, but they weren't able to revive her," State Police Trooper Chris topher Allen told the Daily American of Somerset, Pa.

Calls to Hynes' neighbors on Henderson Road were not returned.

A description of the accident that was posted on Facebook by WJAC-TV drew several comments, most of them expressing sympathy for Hynes and her daughter.

"Prayers to all of them," one person wrote.

To reach Tony Dobrowolski:
tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6224
On Twitter: @tonydobrow