A teenage driver died after losing control of an SUV on Interstate 79 in Greene County. Two other teens in the Mitsubishi Outlander and a motorcyclist who was struck were also killed in the three-vehicle car accident.
Witnesses told Pennsylvania state troopers that there appeared to be no reason the 18-year-old pulled suddenly to the left. Police want to talk to all of the teens who occupied the SUV and lived through the fatal auto accident - three, male Waynesburg students between 16 and 18 years of age. Investigators only know that none of the injured survivors was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Reports say the SUV was northbound and suddenly veered across a median. The Mitsubishi hit a bump which launched the vehicle onto the southbound interstate and into approaching traffic. The sport utility vehicle hit a camper and then a motorcycle, instantly killing the 47-year-old bike operator and injuring a female passenger. An out-of-state couple in the camper escaped injury.
Three 18-year-old males were dead in the Mitsubishi, two Waynesburg residents including the driver and a Carmichaels' teen. The high school where the victims had been students supplied counselors for grieving classmates.
Initial state police reports say it appears the SUV driver was not intoxicated, although tests will confirm what troopers suspect. Reconstruction crews will find out whether the Mitsubishi was speeding. No mechanical problems were evident to investigators.
The teen who caused the accident paid with his life. No criminal case will help the survivors and mourning family members feel closure. However, victims and relatives do have legal recourse in a civil court.
Criminal charges are unnecessary for victims, parents or other surviving family members to file economic claims due to negligence. Wrongful death and liability suits can compensate families suffering the loss of a loved one and reimburse victims for medical expenses and lost income.
Source: post-gazette.com, "Greene County students mourn I-79 crash victims," Janice Crompton and Jonathan D. Silver, Oct. 5, 2012