Open alcoholic containers were found following a crash that left a 5-year-old New Jersey boy dead and five other people hurt. The wreck closed Interstate 78 in the Lehigh Valley for hours Wednesday morning.
Cars backed up for five miles behind the three-vehicle wreck along I-78 eastbound at mile-marker 70.6 between Route 33 and Route 412 in Lower Saucon Township in Northampton County shortly before 1 a.m.
A Nissan Versa driven by Nadine Walton, 54, of Newark, New Jersey for some reason left the roadway, swerved and struck a guardrail, stopping in the left lane, said Pennsylvania State Police. [[393393771, C]]
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A Kia Forte and Doge Caravan then struck the disabled Nissan, said police.
Walton was driving 31-year-old Stefany Stephens, a 2-year-old girl and a 5-year old boy (all from Newark, New Jersey) at the time. The wreck left the boy -- identified by his grandfather as Rayvon Robinson -- dead at the scene -- ejected from his car seat, said police.
Walton and the 2-year-old suffered serious injuries as Stephens suffered undisclosed injuries -- doctors at Lehigh Valley Cedar Crest treated the injured, said police.
Each child was in a child safety seat but it wasn't clear if they were properly strapped in, said police.
Police said they found open alcoholic containers inside the Nissan Versa. They hoped to find out if either the driver or passenger were drinking at the time of the crash. The boy's grandfather told NBC10 the family was driving from South Carolina back to their home in New Jersey at the time of the crash. He described Rayvon as a happy child who always had a big smile on his face.
"Oh man, Rayvon was an angel," he said. "He was an angel and sharp as a whip. He could retain anything."
The drivers of the other vehicles suffered less serious injuries and were transported to local hospitals, said police.
As the coroner was called to the scene, all lanes remained closed as of 7 a.m. as the minivan and one of the cars remained badly damaged int he middle of the roadway. The roadway opened up before 1 p.m.