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One-Vehicle Crash In McCandless Leaves 2 Young Men Dead

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Michael Brunner and John Richards (Source: Richards Family)

Michael Brunner and John Richards (Source: Richards Family)

Dantonio, Christine WEB 2014 Christine D'Antonio
Christine D’Antonio joined the KDKA-TV news team as a general...
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McCANDLESS (KDKA) — A violent crash claimed the lives of two young men, one of them on his birthday, late Friday night in McCandless when their car slammed into a tree on a dark road.

The impact was so great; witnesses say the young men were killed instantly.

It happened along a narrow, curvy stretch of road just before midnight in the 9400-block of Babcock Boulevard.

The two 28-year-old victims, John Richards and Michael Brunner, both from Allison Park, had so much life left to live.

Friends say one of the men was working at his father’s law firm and was looking to get into law school.

Both of them loved the Pirates and were wonderful people, according to those who loved them.

For Richards and Brunner’s friends, the only comfort they have right now is one another.

“Words can’t describe how we feel right now,” one friend said.

It was right before midnight when Richards and Brunner were driving along Babcock Boulevard together.

Lee Harold, who lives right across from the crash site, says he ran outside to help and saw the damage.

“I didn’t hear any squealing. I didn’t hear any other vehicles. It just sounded like the car accelerated and hit the tree,” Harold said. “The car was wrapped around a tree. It had hit the passenger side.”

Harold says another driver who came across the accident before him had already called 911; and while the two waited for emergency responders, they realized that the two young men were gone.

“We looked at the car, couldn’t see anybody in it at first, but then we saw them and called out to them and nobody responded,” Harold said.

The reality is so hard for those who attended North Allegheny High School with the two men.

Friends say Saturday would’ve been Richards’ 28th birthday. It’s a birthday he only spent a mere 15 minutes of before his untimely passing.

“We literally lost one of our best friends, and it’s his birthday today, and we should be celebrating his birthday right now,” his friend said. “It’s just such a tragic thing that happened.”

Police haven’t said what caused the crash.

Witnesses say the road was dry when the accident happened and that it started to rain afterwards.

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