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Area resident dies after being involved in serious accident

Aaron Krause • Jun 15, 2011 at 3:04 PM

An area resident involved in a serious traffic accident last year has died.

Thomas E. Newyear, 37, died Monday in his Norwalk home.

Both of Newyear's legs were crushed in an April 29, 2010 crash on Interstate 80 near the Clearfield, Penn. exit. The accident involving a blown tire on the tractor-trailer Newyear was driving.

It took first-responders about 4 1/2 hours to extract him from the tractor-trailer wreckage.

There was a surgeon on-scene just in case Newyear's legs would need to be amputated. "They told me to prepare for the amputations," he recalled in a story published in the Reflector last July.

The crew eventually used a crane to pull the motor and front dashboard off his legs. The truck, including the freight, had a gross weight of 80,000 pounds or 40 tons.

"I did not really feel my knees at that point. I was scared, but I was scared for my wife and kids," said Newyear, who wondered how his family would cope without him if he died.

Paramedics and firefighters later remarked how rare it was for someone to survive after being trapped like Newyear was.

Newyear was transported to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He had 10 surgeries and remained in the hospital until June 3, 2010, when he was transferred to a Green Springs skilled-nursing facility.

During his interview with the Reflector last year, Tom Newyear said he wanted to attend college, earn his degree and become a drug and alcohol counselor.

He is survived by his wife of 18 years, Pamela S. (Foreman) Newyear, and their two teenage daughters at home, Lyndsie Newyear, 17, and Holly Newyear, 15, as well as another daughter, Kaytlynne Lugo, who lives in Florida.

Newyear was born Oct. 9, 1973 in Fremont and came to this area in 1979 from Castalia.

Tom was a 1992 graduate of Edison High School and was a member of Milan Friends Church.

He had been a truck driver since 2005 and was a former employee of Norwalk Furniture. He enjoyed fishing, camping, shooting his bow and NASCAR.

Other survivors include his mother and stepfather, Evelyn and Robert E. Webb of Norwalk; his father, Paul R. Newyear of Huron; sisters and brother-in-law, Tanya and Gregory Kennedy of Akron, and Jaime Grimm of Berlin Heights; maternal grandmother, Alla Mae Leedy of Clyde.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Billy Leedy in 2010.

Funeral arrangements are pending at Evans Funeral Home, 314 E. Main St., Norwalk.

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