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Police: Racing Was Cause of Motorist Death

PENNSDALE – When Matthew S. Edmondson lost control of the Audi he was driving on Lycoming Mall Drive and crashed into an SUV, killing him and injuring two adults in the other vehicle on Oct. 20, the 23-year-old Montoursville man was drag racing and traveling in excess of 80 mph, according to Muncy Township police.

Police allege that Edmondson was racing with 20-year-old Nathan Riley Hans, of 125 Henry Avenue, Hughesville, who was driving a Volkswagen Jetta when the crash occurred about 9 p.m.

Hans has been charged with five misdemeanor counts of recklessly endangering as well as one count each of careless driving, reckless driving, racing on a highway and speeding.

A Montandon couple and their two children, ages 7 and 4, were in a Jeep Liberty when Edmondson’s westbound out-of-control car was coming right at them, skidding sideways in the eastbound lane, police said.

Township Police Chief Christopher McKibben said the driver of the Jeep, Lindsey Meyer, “really had no time to react at all.” While the children escaped injury, Meyer suffered facial injuries and her husband, Allen, suffered a cracked rib, Patrolman Bryan Bingaman said in an affidavit.

Hans, who told police he saw the crash, admitted that he and Edmondson, who was killed instantly in the crash, were racing after the two pulled out of the Halls Station Sub Station, Bingaman said.

When asked directly if the two were racing, Hans said “Yes, well sort of. It wasn’t like we planned to race, but we were both speeding,” the officer wrote in the affidavit.

Edmondson lost control on the curve where Lycoming Mall Drive intersects with John Brady Drive. Hans told police he believed Edmondson was going “at least 10 mph faster than me.”

While Edmondson was traveling in excess of 80 mph, Hans was driving in excess of 60 mph, where the speed limit is 45 mph, Bingaman said.

The excess speeds were determined by state police analysis of evidence collected at the scene, including videos from two businesses that recorded the alleged racing, Bingaman said.

Hans remained at the crash scene and the Jetta he was driving was impounded by investigators.

Hans has been sent a summons to appear before District Judge Jon E. Kemp for a preliminary hearing next week.