Obituaries

Prosecutor who died in fiery chain-reaction crash 'was an American hero,' state AG says


A longtime Pennsylvania prosecutor was among three people killed Monday in a fiery seven-vehicle accident on a Pennsylvania highway.

Robert Rosner, 52, died at the scene of the Interstate 78 accident after the car he was driving was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer, crashed into several other cars and burst into flames. Two other cars also ignited in the Berks County chain-reaction accident, and a driver and passenger in one of those two cars also died when they could not escape the flames, WFMZ reports.

Rosner, who was a deputy state attorney general at the time of his death, had also served as a Lehigh County prosecutor and a special assistant U.S. Attorney, the Express-Times reports.

He was remembered Wednesday by those who knew him as dedicated both to his job and to his family.

Terry Houck, now a first assistant district attorney in Northampton County, first met Rosner when Rosner was a Warwick Township police officer working on the same cold murder case as Houck, who was then a prosecutor in Bucks County. After Rosner went to law school, the two worked together as prosecutors in Lehigh County.

“He was a very level-headed prosecutor, very meticulous in his work ethic. He didn’t let his feelings get in the way of the smart thing to do,” Houck told the newspaper. “He was a guy that was a tireless worker. I never once heard him say he was too busy or couldn’t handle something. He was never that type of guy.”

At the same time, Rosner, who was married and had two sons, put his family first, Houck said. “We’re going to miss him as a prosecutor but most importantly we’re going to miss him as a person, as a man.”

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane described Rosner in a written statement as “a true public servant; a Marine who began his career as a police officer, went to law school and served dutifully as a deputy attorney general. He was an American hero who lived the American dream. Our hearts hang heavy over his passing and our thoughts and prayers are with the Rosner family.”

John Hudock, 64, told WFMZ that he and his family could have died in the crash, too, if he hadn’t spotted the tractor-trailer barreling toward them in his rearview mirror.

“I go to my daughter, ‘Oh my. We are in trouble,’” he told the station. Although he pulled his vehicle up about 40 yards and moved to the right, it was still involved in the crash along with six other cars.

A dozen people were injured. Officials said the driver of the tractor-trailer is likely to be cited.

The Allentown Morning Call says that stretch of I-78 has a high accident rate and is scheduled for improvements.

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