2 dead, 2 critical after group fixing flat tire struck in Reading

Authorities say a car belonging to two men helping a couple fix a flat tire on an eastern Pennsylvania road was struck by another vehicle, killing two men and critically injuring two other people.

Police in Ontelaunee Township Police said a man and woman heading south on Route 222 got a flat and pulled to the side of the road near Route 61 shortly before 10 p.m. Friday. Two men came to help, parking partially in the left lane to block oncoming traffic. Police said their vehicle didn’t have flashing lights on.

All three men were outside the car trying to change the right rear tire when a third car crashed into the car parked in the road. “They were either struck by the vehicle traveling south or stuck by the vehicle that was struck, or it could have been both vehicles,” Officer Shea Nolan told the Reading Eagle.

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The Berks County coroner’s office said 22-year-old Kenneth Ortiz of Laureldale and 26-year-old Kevin Ortiz of Muhlenberg Township were pronounced dead at the scene.

A 25-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman trapped inside the car with the flat tire were rushed to Reading Hospital in critical condition. The 24-year-old driver of the third car was also taken to the hospital with injuries said not to be life-threatening.


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