Injured Lock Four junior firefighter released from hospital

Junior firefighter home from hospital after being hit by car

May 4, 2013
Lock Four junior firefighter Brandon Schwalb, 14, faces a long recovery after being hit by a car last month. - Courtesy of Lock Four VFC

NORTH CHARLEROI – A junior firefighter in the Mon Valley who was critically injured when struck by a car while crossing a street to assist on a call last month has been released from a hospital to his home and faces a long recovery, the fire department announced Friday.

Bill Castner Jr., chief of Lock Four Volunteer Fire Company in North Charleroi, said 14-year-old Brandon Schwalb was released Thursday night from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, where he was treated for multiple injuries after being struck by a car April 22 on Route 88 near the John K. Tener Bridge construction site.

“It’s been tragic, but the support he’s received has been amazing,” Castner said Saturday.

The injured teen has received cards, letters, gifts and monetary donations from across the country and as far away as Germany after reports of the accident spread across social media, Castner said.

“It’s amazing.”

He said Brandon suffered a broken nose in the accident, as well as a broken pelvis, fractured shoulders and a severely damaged femur, injuries that will prevent him from walking for a month. The teen then will enter rehabilitation to relearn how to walk, Castner said.

To assist in his care, he said, local fireman constructed a ramp at Brandon’s house to make it easier to get his wheelchair into his home. His father, Fred Schwalb, serves as first assistant fire chief of the company and as a member of North Charleroi Council.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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