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Driver in fatal crash only had learner's permit

Published March 16. 2011 05:13PM

The driver of a vehicle that crashed early Sunday morning along a Schuylkill County roadway in which a teenage passenger was killed, only had a learner's permit, according to state police.

Troopers said the 17-year-old Pine Grove male was driving a 1997 Jeep Explorer when it crashed along Hickory Road in Washington Township about 3:25 a.m. Killed in the crash was Brynen Bell, 16, of Pine Grove, a rear seat passenger.

Troopers said since there was no parent or guardian with the teen driver at the time of the crash, he was in violation of the state vehicle code. Persons having a learner's permit are not allowed to drive after midnight without a parent of guardian in the vehicle.

The investigation into the crash is continuing and troopers said charges are pending.

County coroner Joseph Lipsett said that Bell died of massive head and chest trauma.

Five persons were injured in the crash, two severely, according to the police report. Three, including the driver, was slightly injured and treated and released at a Pottsville hospital.

Troopers said one of the severely injured was flown to the Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, and the other to the Hershey Medical Center.

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