Northwestern Press

Saturday, December 16, 2017

West Virginia driver killed in tractor-trailer crash on I-78

Thursday, October 12, 2017 by Susan Bryant sbryant@tnonline.com in Police Log

A 48-year-old West Virginia man died from injuries received in a crash around 9:59 p.m. Oct. 4 on I-78, Upper Macungie Township.

Rockwell L. Beam of Great Cacapon, West Va., was pronounced dead at 6:44 p.m. Oct. 5 in Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township, according to the office of Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim.

Beam’s death, attributed to injuries he received in the crash, was ruled an accident, Grim said.

According to State Police Troop M Fogelsville, Beam was driving a 2017 Volvo D13 Power when it sideswiped and hit a 2017 Kenworth T680 driven by Khalil H. Abdulla, 53, of Minersville, Schuylkill County.

The Volvo was westbound on I-78 behind the Kenworth which was stopped in the right lane due to a backlog from an active work zone.

Police say the Volvo continued westbound and was unable to stop.

Beam attempted to swerve right in a northwest direction to avoid striking the Kenworth, when it hit the rear bumper and door of the Kenworth’s trailing unit with the Volvo’s front left bumper.

After initial impact, the Volvo traveled northwest onto the north shoulder and entered the grass berm.

It then traveled west on the north grass berm for approximately 275 feet before coming to a final controlled rest on the north grass berm on the interstate facing west, police say.

The Kenworth came to a final rest at initial point of impact on the right shoulder of the interstate facing west.

Both the Volvo and Kenworth remained at their points of final rest upon arrival of police.

According to police, Beam was wearing his seat belt.

Abdulla, who was wearing his seat belt, was uninjured, police say.

State Police Cpl. Adam, Troopers Timothy McManus and Knerr from the Fogelsville barracks and Trooper McGranahan of the State Police Forensic Service Unit assisted at the scene.

Lower Macungie Fire Department, Cetronia Ambulance Corps, PennDOT and Hausers Towing also assisted at the scene.