Dr. Richard Balmer, a well-known veterinarian who practiced on the backstretch at the Meadowlands for many years and is now working in western Pennsylvania, was injured in an automobile accident that killed two persons on Saturday night (April 14). Balmer, the husband of harness racing trainer Kelly Stackowicz, was flown by medical helicopter to UPMC-Presbyterian in Pittsburgh.
According to his wife, he was scheduled to be released from the hospital late Monday afternoon.
He suffered a fracture in his cheek and around an eye socket, and surgeons inserted a plate and screws to repair the damage. His only other injury is a badly bruised left bicep.
According to South Strabane Township police, a van hit a truck driven by Balmer, 63, on Route 19 not far from The Meadows Racetrack. Balmer lost control of his truck, which traveled about 900 feet, hitting a guardrail and shearing off a tree before it slammed into a parked car.
The driver of the van suffered a heart attack and apparently caused the accident, and died at the scene. The driver's wife, who attempted to drive and stop the vehicle, suffered injuries and died later that night.