COOK TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A teenager is dead following a one-vehicle crash early Saturday morning in Westmoreland County.
State police say the accident happened just after 4 a.m. along State Route 711 at Horseshoe Bend Road in Cook Township. Investigators say speed was a factor in the crash.
Jonathan Kristiansen, 17, of Latrobe was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:45 a.m. The coroner’s office says Kristiansen died of blunt force trauma to the head and neck. He was not wearing a seatbelt.
According to state police, the victim was headed south on State Route 711 in his Mitsubishi Eclipse when it went off the berm, crossed both lanes and then hit a cement culvert and slammed into a tree.
Kristiansen was thrown from the vehicle, officials said.
State police in Greensburg are investigating the accident.
“He lived his life fast,” Erica Crouse, the victim’s aunt said. “He was a good kid. He was a caring kid. He had a huge heart.”
“If you were having a bad day, he always knew exactly what to say,” Maranda Paola, the victim’s girlfriend, said. “He had a great sense of humor.”
At Ligonier Valley High School, Jon was a junior in the vo-tech program.
“It’s a tough loss, it’s a tough lesson in living that our students are learning,” Ron Baldonieri, principal, said.
Part of his family visited the crash scene Monday after driving in from Maryland and Ohio.
Jon’s mother died last March from cancer.
A service will be held Thursday at the United Methodist Church in Ligonier.