Case 12-031007
Pedestrian Struck by Backhoe

At approximately 1:23 PM on July 12, 2012 a pedestrian was struck by an Abington Township backhoe at the intersection of Parkview Avenue and Lycoming Avenue, Abington. The backhoe was being operated by 58 year old John H. Manzinger of Glenside. The backhoe was being used in a road resurfacing project and Manzinger stated he had just dumped a bucket-load of material into a dump truck from the front bucket. Manzinger stated that as he went to back away from the dump truck he looked both ways and didn’t see anything and began to back up. As he was backing through the intersection in a circular manner, he struck the pedestrian who was crossing the street.

The pedestrian, 72 year old Thomas Smerke of Abington was apparently crossing in the cross walk when the backhoe struck him. Smerke was rushed to Abington Memorial Hospital and died the following day.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation but we are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Mr. Smerke and our thoughts are with his family.

Approved for Release by: Deputy Chief John A. Livingood

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