Teens Die In Single-Vehicle Accident
Seventeen-year-old Matthew Weller and Destiny Knable, 15, were pronounced dead at 10:45 a.m. by Fulton County Coroner Berley Souders at the site of the crash scene located in Bethel Township. The coroner said both teens suffered from blunt force trauma with the majority of Weller’s injuries sustained to the chest area. Knable, who was the only occupant using a seat belt, died as a result of trauma to the neck.
Crash scene investigator Trooper Ellis Barnett of the Pennsylvania State Police barracks in McConnellsburg added Weller, who was determined to be the operator of the southbound 1997 Saturn SC2, lost control of the car on the rain-soaked roadway at 9:10 a.m. just east of White Oak Hollow Road.
The car fishtailed, according to Barnett, and slid broadside across Great Cove Road and the berm, where it struck a utility pole with its right front corner. The force of the collision caused the vehicle to spin into a tree nearly 30 feet away. The driver’s side door took the majority of the impact, with the force of the impact causing the car to spin clockwise and come to a rest between two trees 20 feet off the main roadway, said Barnett, who concluded speed was a primary factor in the collision.
Classmates and staff from the nearby high school were alerted to the deaths of the young couple in the hours immediately following the accident. Letters were sent out to parents of the student body, according to school Superintendent Kendra Trail, telling them that counseling was made available to Southern Fulton’s students both Monday and Tuesday.
Trail said that a variety of trained personnel were on site to aid students in the grieving process, including local clergy, counselors from neighboring school districts, Tuscarora Intermediate Unit #11 represenatives and Student Assistance and Men- tal Health officials.
High school Principal Meredith Hendershot said Weller was currently employed at Hardee’s restaurant and during the school year had been involved with the junior/senior prom committee and Spanish 3. Meanwhile, Knable was enrolled in Spanish 1 and a member of the Make It Take It Club.