Pennsylvania woman charged in crash that killed Morristown couple

Fern and Eldon Priestley died after their vehicle was struck at a Pennsylvania intersection in August 2018.


A 77-year-old woman has been charged with running a red light last summer, causing a multi-vehicle crash in Upper Saucon Township, PA, that killed a Morristown couple and another man.

Joyce Klahr, of Salisbury Township, PA, was arraigned Friday on three counts of felony homicide by vehicle, as well as involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and traffic violations, reported Lehigh Valley Live. 

Fern Priestley, 77, of Morristown was pronounced dead at the scene of crash, which occurred at the intersection of Route 309 and West Saucon Valley Road/Center Valley Parkway shortly before 9 am on Sunday, Aug. 12.

Her husband, Eldon Priestley, 75, died in a nursing home in December from injuries he sustained. Another motorist, Timothy Hank, 51, of Pennsburg, PA, also died.

Klahr, who was released on $50,000 bail. A District Attorney in Lehigh County said she caused the fatal chain of events by running a red light in her 2018 Jeep, striking the side of the Priestleys’ 2014 Lexus, which had the right of way, Lehigh Valley Live reported. Hank’s 2008 Ford Escape was found flipped onto its side, on the northbound side of Route 309.

The Priestleys had been on their way to church. They were much beloved by neighbors in Morristown, where they were active in their condo association and spoke at council meetings advocating for quality-of-life issues.

They were natives of Canada and had two sons and four grandchildren. Eldon was a retired ExxonMobil research executive.

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