Skip to Content

Throop, PA Auto Crash, Mar 1981


Throop, Pa. (UPI) -- Eight teen-agers apparently returning from a party were killed instantly when their car crashed through a guardrail and landed upside down in a gully, the Lackawanna County coroner said Saturday.
"The car looked like it had been throughone of those things that crushes cars in junkyards," Coroner William Sweeney said of the late-model Chrysler Cordoba in which the eight were killed about 11 p.m. Friday.
Police said the car was traveling east on the highway -- apparently at a high rate of speed -- when it struck a guardrail and sailed through the air, landing upside down in a gully 200 feet off Underwood Road in Throop.
The bodies were so badly mangled that authorities had trouble establishing the victims' identities.
Dead were:
DAVID THOMAS, aged 17.
JODY HAFICH, aged 14, all of nearby Dickson City.
GAIL VELTRI, aged 15, both Throop residents.
"This is a record as far back as I can remember and I've been coroner here since 1971," said Sweeney. "I've seen four or five killed before, but never this many." He said the teenagers apparently were going home after a neighborhood party.

Daily Record Roswell New Mexico 1981-03-08


mid valley 8

I was one of the tow truck drivers that fateful hit me so hard I quit towing for ten years.i think making this public may teach teens how awful drinking and driving really is.i had nightmares of this for 6 months after this tragic event but hopefully teens will learn from this....


dga 1964

Thank you very much for posting what you said, I only new one, Gail went to my church sometimes, and i remember her she was a very nice person and very pretty also, although i was a little younger than her i still remember the day it happened it was very sad, i don't know why this many years later i starting thinking about things from my past and she just came to mind and also the rest of the beautiful young people that passed away that horrible day.
If i could go back and change things i would but i can't i used to carry the news article and picture of the people in that accident i tried to get on line and see if there was a archive photo of all the people from that day and there is nothing that i can find but anyhow i carried it because it reminded me not to do things i shouldn't do i just wish i lived like that my whole life.
Thanks again for your post and for telling your story it has helped me just to read about it, I don't know who you are but again thanks for taking the time to make that post if you want to respond to what i have said that is fine and if you don't that is fine.

Richard Luvender

I remember it... I was

I remember it...
I was supposed to be there.

Chrysler Cordoba was "knee high" when I saw it.
They had to bury the car.

Terrible - lost some allies then - Funeral was too much of a circus to attend.

Mid-Valley Eight

I remember this crash very well and many of them were my class-mates. The road they were traveling on was a new back road that was not yet open. It lead to the new school that was being built and due to open in the coming fall. From what I understand, one of the girls was in a hurry to get home before her curfew and the driver was speeding to get her there. Unfortunately, he lost control of the car and hit a guardrail, which catapulted the vehicle in the air and it landed upside down in an embankment. Many of the funerals were open casket and it was horrible. Our high school marching band was due to perform in the St. Patrick's Day parade in Scranton the following Saturday. There are archival photos of the entire band wearing black armbands as a symbol of mourning.

article | by Dr. Radut