KANE, Pa. – An SUV crossed into oncoming traffic on a rural northwestern Pennsylvania highway and smashed head-on into another vehicle, killing six people, including two children, authorities said Sunday.
A Jeep Liberty driven by 36-year-old Kathy Douglas, of Kane, crossed the centerline at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday and hit an approaching Pontiac Bonneville in the Allegheny National Forest, killing her daughter and nephew as well as four people in the sedan, state police said.
The four occupants of the car, all residents of nearby St. Marys, died in the crash: the driver, Gary Beimel, 62, and passengers David Cuneo, 54, Elaine Beimel, 55, and Florence Donachy, 81.
Douglas’ 6-year-old nephew, Jarrett Costanzo, and 12-year-old daughter, Olivia Douglas, were killed. Douglas and her 10-year-old son were seriously injured. The names of the two deceased children were released by Cummings Funeral Home in Kane, which is handling arrangements.
Jarrett was a student at Kane Area Elementary School, said Sam Cummings, who works at the funeral home. The funerals might be held together, he said.
Cummings said the injured boy was flown to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
“I think he’s doing OK,” Cummings said.
A nursing supervisor at UMPC Hamot in Erie said Douglas was in critical condition Sunday afternoon.
The investigating officer, Trooper Roger McCloskey, said he believes Douglas was at fault and will face some sort of charges.
“I have no idea yet, but the investigation is continuing,” he said Sunday.
Police said Douglas and Gary Beimel were wearing seat belts, but at least three of the deceased were not.
McKean County Coroner Michael Cahill said all six were declared dead at the scene of the wreck, and all died from blunt force trauma injuries.
Police said both vehicles were severely damaged, and U.S. Highway 219 was closed in both directions for more than six hours.