Russian immigrant killed in van crash on Route 381
A foreign-born woman who worked for a service provider for Nemacolin Woodlands Resort was killed in a what one emergency responder described as a “freak accident” yesterday morning in Fayette County.
The woman — whose identity was being withheld yesterday by the county coroner’s office pending notification of next of kin — was a passenger in a Ford E-350 passenger van traveling north on Route 381 in Wharton Township at 7:30 a.m. when the crash occurred, said Uniontown state police Trooper Timothy Jamieson.
The vehicle contained six other people, none of whom was injured, Jamieson said. He did not specify who was driving the van.
The van veered off the road and hit a utility pole and tree, killing the woman, Jamieson said.
“The van sideswiped the pole. She was sitting in the rear driver’s side seat. The window beside her popped out and she hit her head on the pole,” said Farmington volunteer fire Chief Brian VanSickle. “There was minor damage to the vehicle; it really was a freak accident.”
She was not wearing a seat belt, Jamieson said, but all of the other occupants were.
The deceased woman was born in Russia but was an American citizen residing in New York, based on her passport information, VanSickle said.
VanSickle said the vehicle’s other occupants were all from Ukraine, including Shamshod Mamorov, 23; Vitalie Septelici, 21; Cristina Militaru, Pavel Alekseyevich, Sarkhan Hajaliyev, and Farid Taghizade, all 20.
Each of them was hired by an international contracting firm to provide kitchen and housekeeping services at the resort, VanSickle said.
“They told me they were on their way to their homes. Some of them were living in the Ohiopyle area; they had different addresses,” he said. “They told me they all transferred here just three days ago and got placed as workers there.”
The company that hired the seven was H2B Agency, a recruiting company based in Naples, Fla.
“The person that was driving was apparently hired by the company to shuttle the others back and forth to and from work,” VanSickle said.
Nemacolin officials declined comment when reached yesterday.
The H2B visa is available to foreign workers not working in the agricultural field. The visa is available only for work that is temporary, according to workpermit.com .
No other information was available from the coroner’s office yesterday.
“It may take a few days to get a hold of her family,” VanSickle said.