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Trucker Charged After Crash Kills Three

August 17, 1985

LAWRENCEVILLE, Pa. (AP) _ A tractor-trailer crossed to an oncoming lane on a curve during a rain storm and struck a North Carolina church group’s van, killing three people and injuring eight, authorities said.

The driver of the truck in the Friday crash on U.S. 15, identified as Raymond J. Smidts, 34, of Stratford, Ontario, was charged with homicide by vehicle and involuntary manslaughter, state police said.

Nancy Weaver of Bath, N.Y., said the group from the Old Fashioned Tabernacle Church of Durham, N.C., had spent five days sightseeing in New York state before leaving her house for Durham a half-hour before the accident.

Those killed were identified as the Rev. Michael H. Murphy, who was driving the van, Tony Antonelli, 14, and Joyce Barker, 40.

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