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Sharon police: No indications of drugs, alcohol or texting in triple fatality

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Evan Gill & Cory Swartz Evan Gill & Cory Swartz
John Zdelar John Zdelar

SHARON, Pa. - On Saturday afternoon, Sharon Police Chief Michael Menster issued a news release on the traffic accident that claimed three lives. The following is a transcript of that report.

Date:                    November 9, 2013

From:                   Chief Michael J. Menster, Sharon Police Department

Subject: Fatal      Motor Vehicle Accident

Location:             East Connelly Blvd. just west of the Oakland Ave. Viaduct

At approximately 10:05 PM on Friday, November 8, 2013, Sharon Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to East Connelly Blvd. just west of the Oakland Ave. Viaduct for a two vehicle accident. Responding officers found a Mazda Sport Utility Vehicle and a Chevy Silverado truck were involved in a head-on collision. The Mazda was occupied by four Sharon High School students, all members of the Sharon High School Football Team, who were returning from watching the playoff game at Hickory High School Stadium. The Chevy Truck was driven by a 50 year old Brookfield man and was occupied by two children, ages 12 and 10.

Preliminary investigation suggests the Mazda, driven by Cory Swartz, 18, of Sharon, crossed the median strip and struck the pickup truck... Cory Swartz and passenger Evan Gill, 17, of Sharon, were pronounced dead at the scene by Mercer County Coroner Brad McGonigle. Passengers Craig and Gregg Osmon, both 17, of Sharon were transported to Sharon Regional Health System and later transferred to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Youngstown where they are undergoing surgery.

The Chevy truck was driven by John Zdelar Jr., 50, of Brookfield Township and he was pronounced dead at approximately 10:52 PM at Sharon Regional Health System. Evan Wallace, 10, of Brookfield Township was transported to UPMC Children's Hospital for treatment and Blake Yenderak, 12, also of Brookfield Township, was treated and released at Sharon Regional Health System.

Sharon Fire Fighters had to extricate victims from both vehicles who were entrapped in the wreckage. Numerous ambulances responded to transport victims to local hospitals and three medical helicopters were landed to assist with transports.  The roadway was closed until approximately 3:30 am on Saturday morning while investigators collected evidence.

Preliminary investigation does not indicate that alcohol, drugs or texting were factors in the crash.

Sharon police, in conjunction with the Mercer County Coroner's Office will continue to investigate this tragic accident.

Assisting at the scene were; Brookfield Fire Department, Hermitage Police Department, Southwest Regional Police Department, Sharon Street Department, PennDot, and the Sharon City School District.

Sharon School District Staff have arranged for grief counselors to be available to provide assistance.

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