2 HS football players killed in W. Pa. crash

  • November 9, 2013
Rescue crews from four departments respond to a deadly two-vehicle crash Friday in Sharon - Associated Press/The Sharon Herald

SHARON (AP) – A high school football player preparing for a playoff game lost control of his sports utility vehicle, leading to a head-on collision that left him, a teammate and the driver of the other car dead, and two of their teammates injured.

Sharon Police Chief Michael J. Menster said in a news release that Sharon High School player Corey Swartz, 18, was driving with three teammates when he crossed the median on a highway in Sharon and hit a truck head-on.

Also killed were Swartz’s passenger, Evan Gill, 17, of Sharon, and the pickup driver, John Zdelar Jr., 50, of Brookfield, Ohio.

The Sharon City School District’s acting superintendent, Michael Calla, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that speed may have been a factor. Sharon police said that investigators do not suspect that alcohol, drugs or texting were a factor in the crash.

“They feel that speed was probably a factor and the car that Corey was driving, he lost control and he may have overcompensated and ended up in the lane with the other vehicle,” Calla told the paper.

Swartz and the other players had been watching another playoff game before the wreck occurred at about 10 p.m. on Friday. Twin brothers Craig and Greg Osmon, 17, of Sharon, were injured and required surgery, Menster’s release said.

Zdelar’s passenger Evan Wallace, 10, was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital. His other passenger, Blake Yenderak, 12, was released after getting medical treatment, police said.

Police and the Mercer County coroner did not return messages seeking comment.

Calla told the paper the players were senior leaders on the team and in the school, which has about 860 students in grades 7-12.

“It’ll be a loss felt for a long, long time in Sharon,” he told the Post-Gazette.

The playoff game that had been scheduled for Saturday in Erie against Girard High School was postponed until Monday. Calla said the school plans to consult the families about whether or how the school might memorialize Swartz and Gill.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Lawmaker seeks support in House for Kane impeachment memo

New state Senator sworn in

Budget work to continue after whirlwind of finger-pointing

Republicans eye veto override in budget fight

Judge weighing juvenile court for teen in mass stabbing

Trooper shot in shoulder following traffic stop

Judge rules in favor of ski resort in road closure suit

Wolf: Deal to end 5-month budget stalemate in ‘deep peril’

17-year-old boy shot leaving home for school

Judge upholds Pennsylvania township’s pro-drilling ordinance