SOUTH UNION TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A Fayette County community is in mourning after two teenagers described as being popular students were killed in a crash Wednesday afternoon.
Several other people were injured in the crash as well.
According to police, the crash happened just before 3 p.m. on Walnut Hill Road near the Route 119 northbound exit in South Union Township.
KDKA’s Ross Guidotti Reports:
Now, investigators are looking into the possibility that the victims’ car was racing another vehicle prior to the accident.
Four Uniontown High School students were in the car when the 17-year-old driver lost control.
The car crossed the center lane and collided with an SUV coming from the other direction.
“The first unit that was involved appeared to be driving at an excessive rate of speed just prior to the crash taking place,” Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Stefani Plume said.
Police say the two teens killed in the crash were passengers. The driver is one of the two kids at Children’s Hospital.
Trevor McFadden, 16, was rushed to Uniontown Hospital, where he later died.
Another passenger, 17-year-old De’Andre Jones was pronounced dead at the scene.
“I remember when he went to his first prom. I was very proud,” said Mike Jones, De’Andre’s father. “I still got the pictures in my phone.”
But it was just back on Feb. 22, when Rashaunda Fitzgerald, De’Andre’s older sister, was stabbed to death while trying to break up a fight at a Georges Township bar.
“It’s only been three weeks since they buried his sister. It’s horrible,” said Mike Jones.
De’Andre’s father is a man of very deep faith and he is relying on God, and he has advice for young people who think they are invincible.
“Be focused on life and enjoy it while you can because it’ll be gone sooner than you think,” he said.
KDKA’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland Reports:
The two other people injured in the crash are now being identified as Ziaire Ellis and Rodney Harris. They were taken to Children’s Hospital in critical condition.
Police are now looking for the driver of a black Cadillac sedan, who they believe may have been racing with the teens in the moments before the crash.
“Some witness interviews, that we were able to get at the scene, indicated that the operators of the vehicle may have possibly even been racing with another vehicle at the time,” Trooper Plume said.
Grief counselors are on hand today at Uniontown Area High School where the teens attended class and we’re active in athletics.
KDKA’s Trina Orlando Reports:
The school principal released a statement saying:
“This is a difficult time for our students, staff and school community as we are dealing with the tragic events that have occurred. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of these young people, while we also respect the privacy of each family.”
“Crashes are always tough because it’s usually something that happens spur of the moment or driver error, something quick that happens. The person isn’t a criminal by any means or anything like that. In this case, it appears as though a bad decision was made and unfortunately, in this circumstance, there were multiple deaths involved,” Trooper Plume said.