New Castle News

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January 7, 2013

Tragedy & heroics: Teen driver in fatal crash may owe life to vigilant off-duty officer

(Continued)

NEW WILMINGTON — THE RESCUE

 “We were still trying to get the driver out and couldn’t see any of him but his legs,” Courson said.

Seeber was entangled in his seat belt, which the fire department cut, but Seeber wasn’t entirely free from it as it was still wrapped around part of his body. Within 20 to 25 minutes after the fire department arrived, the rescue crews got him out through the passenger’s side and walked him to the ambulance.

McQuiston also was taken St. Elizabeth Health Center, where he was pronounced dead by a Mahoning County medical examiner. An autopsy was scheduled.

Pulaski Township Fire Chief Guy Morse said he had summoned the Neshannock Township water rescue team and New Wilmington Volunteer Fire Department so there would be enough manpower for the effort. Pulaski had 12 rescuers on scene, he said.

Chad Adams, Pulaski Township officer in charge, said he ended his shift earlier but went back to the accident scene. He said Courson and the other rescuers were standing in waist-deep water in 27-degree weather for an extended time.

Courson was soaked from his waist down and Adams sent him home, he said, adding that had Courson not been paying attention to the headlights he saw, the accident could have gone unnoticed.

 “There is no doubt in my mind that if he hadn’t been there, the driver would have died, too,” Adams said, adding that the truck couldn’t be seen from the road.

Courson estimated the truck had traveled about 150 feet off the road before it rolled into the stream.   

Responding in addition to the three fire and three police departments were the state police, Noga ambulance and the Pulaski Township emergency medical service.

GRIEF-STRICKEN SCHOOL

 Meanwhile, the Wilmington Area School District is mourning the loss of its second student and band member to have died in a traffic accident in the past two months. Brandon William Beahr, an 18-year-old senior, died Nov. 4 in an accident state Route 18 in Shenango Township, when a car he was driving hit a utility pole and two trees and overturned onto its roof.

 The crowd attending Wilmington’s basketball game Saturday night overflowed the gymnasium as McQuiston was remembered with tears and prayers. Many of the students who connected on Facebook and Twitter wore white as a memorial tribute.

According to accounts on Facebook, the school’s band director, Jonathon Nickel, earlier Saturday gave the teen’s trumpet and band jacket to his mother, Dana, who is a legislative assistant to state Rep. Chris Sainato.

Yesterday, McQuiston’s sister Kortney used her Facebook page to thank everyone who has reached out to the family.

“Thank you everyone for your love, sympathy and support,” she posted. “I’m sorry I haven’t really responded to anyone but know I read everything from everyone.

“Shane was the best brother in the world and I feel like a piece of me is missing. Please keep my family in your prayers ... This is probably going to be the hardest thing we will have to do in our entire lives ... My heart is broken.”

(E-mail: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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