Update: Deputy coroner confirms identities of two men killed in cistern accident

Staff Writer

PUNXSUTAWNEY — On Wednesday, Jefferson County Deputy Coroner Kim Shaffer-Snyder confirmed the identities of two men who were tragically killed in an accident at a cistern located on Mohney Road, just off No. 8 Road, in Perry Township, Punxsutawney.

Shaffer-Snyder confirmed that G. Sherwin Farmery, 61, of Rochester Mills, and Dr. John Smelko, 67, of Punxsutawney, both passed away as a result of the incident.

Trooper Jamie Levier, PSP-Punxsutawney, told the Associated Press that autopsies were ongoing to explain what exactly may have happened, saying that it seems both deaths were accidental in nature.

The investigation began just after 7 p.m. on Tuesday, when members of the Perry Township Volunteer Fire Company and the Punxsutawney Fire Department’s Water Rescue Team were called to the location.

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