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Police: Fatal accident could have been caused by medical condition

August 19, 2010 News Extra

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JACKSON TWP — Police said a 66-year-old Cranberry Township woman died this morning after driving through a guardrail and into an embankment off Route 19.

Chief Terry Seilhamer said this morning the woman inside the car likely wasn't discovered until several hours after the crash, although he wasn't positive about that.

The chief said the woman's family hasn't yet been notified and he couldn't release her name.

Seilhamer added the accident could have been caused by a medical issue, being that the injuries sustained in the accident didn't appear to be life-threatening.

“Perhaps she fell asleep or had a medical condition before leaving the road,” Seilhamer said. “That's a decision for the coroner to make. But preliminarily, it doesn't appear the injuries from the crash would necessarily result in a fatality.”

The accident happened on northbound Route 19 just before the Zelienople on-ramp to Interstate 79.

Seilhamer said the woman had just descended the long hill past Route 528 when her car veered to the right and went through the guardrail.

The car then traveled into an embankment and partially up the other side of a hill. It's not clear when the accident occurred or how long the woman was in the car before officials arrived.

The car was being pulled back onto the ramp this morning.

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