Crash On I-79 Leaves 2 Dead

FRANKLIN PARK (KDKA) — Two people were killed and two others seriously injured after a van crashed Sunday afternoon along Interstate 79 in Franklin Park.

The accident happened around 1:30 p.m. in the northbound lanes of the roadway at mile marker 73, just before the Wexford exit.

State police say the 16-year-old girl who was driving the van is listed in serious condition at Allegheny General Hospital. A 21-year-old man, from Rochester, who was a back seat passenger is there too in serious condition.

Two other passengers, identified as 21-year-old Connor Johnson and 18-year-old Jaclyn Kennedy – both from Baden – were pronounced dead at the scene. The man was in the front seat and the girl was in a back seat.

According to state police, the 1991 Chevrolet Astro van was traveling in the middle of the three lane highway after the driver lost control of the vehicle.

When she tried to avoid some debris, police say the vehicle left the road, traveled along the side of the road and then hit a light pole.

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  • Friend

    Rest in peace Jackie and Connor! Stay strong madie. Jackie you were the sweetest girl ever. It breaks my heart to know you are gone.

  • Nicole

    I was there helping other bystanders pull Maddie out and I genuinely feel for the family. I made phone calls for her and had to break the news and I am so sorry… Hang in there family of the victims.

    • Debbie

      Thank you Nicole for stopping and helping Maddie in her time of need. I’m sure her family will appreciate your compassionate actions. Take care.

    • Connors' mom

      Thank you so much for helping. My son did not survive, but if not for folks like you, perhaps Maddie and Danny wouldn’t have had the chance to survive. Thank you!!

  • Friend

    Connor. You were like a brother to me. One day we will all be together again. RIP buddy

  • Lewis

    Jackie Kennedy wasn’t just another student at AAHS(AMBRIDGE AREA HIGH SHCOOL), she was a lovely young lady that was able to put a smile on everyone’s face when she smiled. She was a member of the choir, a good friend and a loving sister. Jackie we all will miss you so much. R.I.P. You’re now singing for the greatest stage of them all to a crowd of one. And that is the king of kings and lord of lords Jesus Christ. And I will see you again sweet girl.

  • Friend

    Can’t seem to stop crying. Jackie you didn’t even get a chance to live your life you were so young. So hard to believe. I just wanna wake up from a this bad dream

  • Friend

    That was a sweet thing to say Lewis gross

  • Chico Lind

    Sad story. But we might need to rethink raising the legal driving age. 16-year olds aren’t as responsible these days, and feel to entitled to the keys to dad’s car. Not to say that this contributed to this unfortunate accident. But the discussion will undoubtedly come up.

    • Friend

      It only came up because you brought it up.

    • FRIEN\D

      Madie’s a good driver. It could happen to anyone. She just lose her sister! How can you be so harsh when everyone else is grieving?

    • Friend

      This is not a place to start a debate.


      • chill.

        and this isnt a memorial site either.

      • Friend

        How cold and heartless can you honestly be?? Its sick to think there is actually people like you out there. Jackie was a good friend and co worker with me and i went to highschool with Connor and for you to even bring that age was a factor on how you drive is rediculous! It doesn’t matter what age you are you could be a bad driver at 30 or even 50 but she wasnt a bad driver. Accidents happen and two amazing people were lost and if you are going to say something like that go somewhere else obviously you have never lost someone close to you or would have never posted such a comment.

      • Friend

        To “chill” karma is a b*tch.

    • Jake O'Neill

      Chico you need to watch what you put online because you obviously did not know anyone involved in the accident its called an accident for a reason not matter what age this could have happened to anyone not becasue she was 16 it had nothing to do with it. Connor has been a close family friend since he was born think of the 16 year old girl she willl dwell on this for the rest of her life so someone doesn’t need to put that up in a time of grieving… R.I.P. Connor love ya man

      • Michelle

        Thank you Jake!! You are so very right!!

    • Connors' mom

      So wrong of you!! This was an accident!! I am the mother of one of the victims and I know this was an accident and only an accident!!

    • Ryan

      That’s stupid. Age didn’t contribute. It just happened. It could have happened to a 30 year old.

  • Friend

    Speed was not a factor in the accident as it states on wpxi. Accidents happen. That is why they are called accidents. Has nothing to do with age.

    • Debi Aronson Fisher

      this comment was in no way one that needed to be reported however ……….accidents are just that ….accidents but this is why the police strees so STRONGLY that seat belts be worn. Now that being said , another family has to go through unspeakable sadness because of it ……………. so so sad


    Madie- hang in there… This isn’t your fault.
    RIP Jackie… You really were the sweetest girl… And you did make people smile… We’ll miss you…
    My heart goes out to Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy and Connor’s family…

  • monacachick

    Does anyone know the names of the other people in the car?

  • Friend

    Madie Kennedy and her bf Danny mehelic

  • Saw it

    Although speed was not a factor, what was is the fact the only one wearing a seat belt was the driver. Very sad easily preventable deaths.

    • Debi Aronson Fisher

      as I said before , you are absolutely right “saw it” … so sad when one loses a life because it might have taken an extra minute to put on a seat belt …………. prayers go to all those involved

    • Connors' mom

      So wrong!! Yes this was totally an accident,however, seat belts would not have prevented their deaths.

  • ...................

    @Chico Lind I dont care what you are trying to say- either way That was very rude and insensitive. Show more respect.
    @Chill let them have this. Why should it matter if people come on here wanting to honor or mourn their loss?
    Give respect to the living as to the deceased.
    May God bless the families and friends and Jackie.

  • Nicole

    Keep opinions on matters such as this private. Two people lost their lives and two others lives were changed forever without people imposing their rude and unhelpful opinions. You didn’t see the scene, if you did you would have been praying not criticizing.

    • Jonny

      “Opinions” are precisely what this area is designated for. You can disagree, but giving your opinion while at the same time dismissing others’ is a joke.

      • I was there helping

        If what I said offended you then I guess you’re just as infuriated as I was when “Johnys” comment which intended no “opinion war”. You should be conferring the family and refrain from being hypocritical.

        I intended nothing and feel truely sorry for the family and those in the car.. I just do not understand those who say things who could hurt the families.

      • Jonny's brother

        And YOU should be comforting the families, Nicole, instead of engaging in an online opinion war.

      • Nicole

        Here is my opinion on people like you, you have no regards for people’s life or the families of the dead teenager and the dead 21 year old who may see these comments. Be considerate because one day it could be you and you will deserve every harsh comment an mean hearted thing people say about individuals and situations they know nothing about. You are not important enough for further comments.

  • Friend

    R.I.P jaclyn and conner. Madie I hope u and ur bf pull through luv ya.

  • JoJo Cox

    They got jacked so young…that’s really sucks for the family. Peace to the victims

  • Lovely

    I just gave my 17 year old a car…so I’m really worried. My prayers go to the family and friends.

  • Investigation Continues In Fatal I-79 Crash « CBS Pittsburgh

    […] Crash On I-79 Leaves 2 Dead More Local News More Wexford News […]

  • Shari

    Jackie, even though we’ve only known you these past few months, we will miss you dearly. You were so sweet and brought smiles to our faces. We will miss the way you’d cheer us on at volleyball and the way you warmed DJ’s heart. It has brought DJ and all of us peace to know that you have gone Home.

    I am so sorry for this tradegic loss to the Kennedy’s and Connor’s family. Our prayers go out to Mady and Danny for a speedy recovery. Through God, all things are possible. I believe for healing.

  • I was there helping

    I think what’s important here is that the police took 15minutes to arrive. That can not be ok… It was not rush hour, it was not bad weather, people called immediately. I think that’s horrible

    • Debra

      Not sure why you say the police took 15 minutes to arrive. My Daughter in law dialled 911 as we got out of our vehicle and ran to the victims, seconds after the accident happened. I thought it took an eternity for the first police car to arrive, as I stayed beside the young man who is now at AGH and cared for him the best I could, until the first Franklin Park police woman pulled up and I called out to her that “this young man needs help now.” Numerous emergency vehicles followed in seconds. The call to 911 lasted just over 6 minutes as she remained on the line relaying information to us.

  • Helper

    Since the moment I helped Madie out of her seatbelt my heart hurts. I told her I would pray for her and I don’t think I’ve stopped. I pray she is ok and for strength of everyone involved.

    • Friend

      Thank you for what you have done. Madie is released from the hospital tonight.

  • Girl

    This was an unfortunate accident and it could happen to anyone (age does not matter) for those that are bringing up the age factor need to consider who is reading this page and know that those comments are not appropriate. Keep those to yourself. Respect. I did not know the family, knew friends of the family. This was a very sad thing that happened. So glad ppl were at the scene helping. Nice to know there are still good ppl out there in the world. My prayers go out to the family and friends of these kids. God Bless you all!

  • liza

    did you ever think that the police could have been on another emergency. there are not fifteen men on a shift . think before you open your mouth.

    • Facts

      Actually there usually are. Get your facts straight my brother is cop so i think i know.

  • Kayla Jackson

    Although I was not extremely close to Jackie and have no idea who Connor is, I feel terrible this happened to them. I cried and am grieving as well as many others. Ambridge Area High School has brought all of us together as one family and we care for one another as we would our own family. I graduated last year and got the opportunity to meet Jackie and be in German with her. She is loved by many and will never be forgotten. For Connor, I am sure that he was an amazing individual as well. My thoughts and prayers go out to all friends and family of these individuals who lost their lives. I love you all and if you need anything let me know and I will do my best to help. With much love. <3

  • daniel

    Connors brother is one of my very good friends. Were are all praying for his family and hope he recovers from the shock of it soon.

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