by Mickey Smith
A two car crash on Route 118 in Eden Thursday afternoon, December 19, near the intersection of Knowles Flat Road, resulted in the deaths of two people.
According to a Vermont State Police press release on the accident, Francis Valley, 68, of Barton, was pronounced dead at the scene and the passenger in his 2011 Ford Transit, Shirlee Kraniak, 53, was transported to Fletcher Allen Health Care for critical injuries where she later died.
According to the press release, the call was originally reported as involving three vehicles, but the investigation found only two vehicles were involved.
The operator of the second vehicle, a 1998 Ford Ranger, Michael Palchek, 51, of Bakersfield, was originally transported to Copley Hospital but was later transferred to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington for what was described as “non-life threatening injuries.”
According to the press release, the head-on collision occurred in the northbound lane and the State Police Crash Reconstruction Team also responded to assist.
Route 118 was closed until about 6:30 p.m.
The Vermont State Police are looking for a small white sedan that was seen in the area and possibly witnessed the accident. The investigation is ongoing and any witnesses are encouraged to call the Vermont State Police at 635-7036.