Two struck by township snow plow, one seriously injured

Feb 05 2014 | 03:40 AM

    ‑ Two pedestrians were injured Feb. 3, one seriously, after they were struck by a Sparta Township snow plow.

    At 4:30 pm, officers were dispatched to the Sparta Township Public Library to investigate the incident.

    The initial investigation reveals the following that 60-year-old Flanders resident Diane Lapsley and her 61-year-old husband Donald had just exited the library, where Diane is employed.

    Department of Public Works Employee Paul J. Austin, 31, was operating a 2001 Ford Mason Dump Truck and was plowing and sanding the parking lot, according to a Sparta Police Department news release.

    As the plow was backing up while sanding, the couple entered into the parking lot and proceeded to walk behind the truck towards their motor vehicle. They were both struck by the rear of the truck, according to police.

    Diane was seriously injured, suffering head, back and leg injuries. Donald suffered bruises and contusions.

    Both were transported to the Morristown Medical Center. Diane was listed in fair condition as of Feb. 4. Donald was treated and released.

    There is no evidence to suggest that alcohol, drugs or reckless operation were factors in the incident, according to Sgt. John Pual Beebe, public affairs officer of the Sparta Police Department.

    Sparta Police officers Craig Grauerholz and Brian Hassloch, who are certified accident reconstructionists, and Det. Jeffrey McCarrick are conducting the investigation.