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Mine Hazard Awareness Campaign

Accident Information File

A four-wheeling joyride turned deadly in Luzerne County, Pa. One 30-year-old man died when an SUV he was riding in plunged into a flooded strip mine pit in Newport Township near Nanticoke. The driver of the jeep, a woman, survived. She walked miles in the dark trying to get help. Rescuers became recovery crews after trips deep into the strip mine area found the victim still underwater, stuck in the vehicle. For emergency workers it was not an easy task. The victim was a volunteer for the Nanticoke Fire Department.

This isn't the first time people have died in the strip mine. Six years ago five people were killed in the same spot when their Jeep plunged into the same pit in January, 1998. Those familiar with the strip area were not surprised to hear people taking an illegal joy ride. According to one witness, a lot of people take their four-wheelers into that area. They don't know where they're, they get lost, and it's very easy to drive into the hole. (Source: WNEP-TV/ Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)