NEW STANTON (KDKA) — A mother is mourning her son after he was killed in an overnight accident in Westmoreland County.
Justin Malik, 17, was pronounced dead at the scene early Thursday morning. An autopsy was scheduled for the afternoon, but the coroner says it is likely that the teen died instantly.
“Last time I talked to him, I told him I loved him and to come home,” said Ahna Malik, Justin’s mom.
But that never happened. Around 3 a.m., a state trooper came to Malik’s Herminie home to tell her that her son had been killed in a car crash.
His friend who was driving, 17-year-old Nowel Hershberger, had been flown to a Pittsburgh hospital.
The two were on their way home from work when four deer ran out in front of them on Arona Road in New Stanton. Authorities say Hersberger swerved to miss the deer and ran into a giant oak tree.
The car was so mangled, a man who rushed out of his home to help initially only saw the driver when she climbed out on her own.
“She was talking but she was out of it. She said, ‘I don’t know what happened.’ And then she fell on the ground,” the witness said.
Malik liked to listen to music, take photos and play on his cell phone. He was a former student at Yough High School where grief counselors were on hand Thursday.
Principal Earl Thompson told KDKA over the phone: “I liked Justin as a student. This is a tragic loss for his family and friends. We at Yough High School send our condolences out to his family.”
There’s no word on the condition of Hershberger. Viewing for Malik will be held on Saturday at the Caruso Funeral Home in Mount Pleasant.