State College man dead, woman seriously injured after crash at construction site downtown

A State College man died and a woman was seriously injured Sunday after the driver crashed into a concrete wall that borders a construction site downtown, borough police wrote in a statement.

A Hyundai Elantra driven by an 83-year-old man slammed into the wall about 1 p.m. Sunday in the 200 block of A Alley, which runs between South Allen and South Pugh streets, police wrote.

The vehicle accelerated through the Schlow Centre Region Library parking lot and hit the wall that borders the construction site at the former Days Inn, police wrote. The man — whose name was not released — was pronounced dead at the scene.

His 78-year-old passenger was flown by medical helicopter to Geisinger Medical Center. She is in stable condition, police wrote.

Neither drugs nor alcohol are believed to be a factor in the crash, police wrote. An investigation is ongoing. The Centre County Accident Reconstruction Team, Centre LifeLink EMS, the Alpha Fire Co. and the Centre County Coroner’s Office assisted.

The construction site is at the former location of the Days Inn, which, along with the adjoining Mad Max and Brewsky’s Bottle Shop, was demolished last year to make way for a new six-story apartment complex being developed by Core Spaces.

A worker died in July 2022 after falling five stories from an open window at the site. The federal agency that monitors workplace safety proposed a $14,500 fine against the company, citing what it classified as violations of labor standards.

There were eight fatal crashes between 2013 and 2022 in State College, state Transportation Department data showed. That was tied for the fourth-most of any municipality in Centre County, behind rural Rush, Potter and Walker townships.