A North Franklin Township sister and brother on their way to classes at Trinity High School Thursday morning were flown by medical helicopter to a Pittsburgh hospital after a head-on collision in North Franklin near Washington Cemetery.
Township police said a car driven by Bricelyn Meerdo, 18, of 3120 W. Chestnut St., was driving north on Park Avenue (Route 18) near the entrance to Washington Cemetery across from Armour Street about 7:30 a.m. when she crossed the center line and struck a southbound Jeep driven by Anthony LoGreco, 31, of S Bridge Road, Washington.
Bricelyn Meerdo, who is a senior, and her brother, identified by sources as Keaton Meerdo, who is a sophomore, had to be extricated from the wreckage of their Mercury Topaz by North Franklin firefighters.
The two students were flown to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC from a practice field behind Trinity High School with unspecified injuries. A hospital spokeswoman said the family asked no information was be released on the condition of the teens. LoGreco was not injured.
Officer Rodney Bush, who is investigating the crash, said the driver of the Jeep said he was on a straightaway when the approaching car came around the bend and crossed the center line.
“He tried to get out of the way but couldn’t,” Bush said, adding that a driver traveling behind the Jeep corroborated what happened.
Bush said he did not have a chance to speak with the teen driver.
“I don’t know what caused her to cross the center line,” Bush added. “She may have been distracted.”
Deer have been known to cross in that area, but Bush said no one reported seeing any at the time of the crash.
Township police Sgt. Ron Fox said both vehicles appeared to be traveling at about the 35 mph speed limit.
The crash brought traffic to a standstill on Park until the wreckage could be cleared, affecting bus traffic heading to both the high school and middle school, Fox said.
Dr. Paul Kasunich, school district superintendent, said he was notified of the crash immediately after it happened. An announcement was made to both the students and staff and parents received an alert.
Kasunich was not aware of any students witnessing the crash on their way to school. Counselors were made available to students.
Kasunich said he was not aware of the crash causing any delays in the start of classes for the day.