72-Year-Old Scoutmaster Killed by Abington Twp Backhoe

The backhoe was being used for a road resurfacing project.

An elderly man is dead after he was hit by a backhoe while crossing an Abington Street, according to police.

Thomas Smerke, a 72-year-old Eagle Scoutmaster, was struck by an Abington Township backhoe being used in a road resurfacing project at the intersection of Parkview and Lycoming Avenues on Thursday, July 12.

Gallery: Thomas Smerke: Through the Years

John H. Manzinger, 58, was operating the backhoe when he says he accidentally hit Smerke. Manzinger told police he looked both ways before backing up into the intersection and that he didn't see the victim crossing the street.

Smerke was rushed to Abington Memorial Hospital where he died the next day.

The victim served as Scoutmaster for Troop #72 in Overlook Hills for 42 years.

The incident is under investigation.


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