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Four are killed in two crashes

Published June 04. 2012 05:03PM

Four Schuylkill County residents were killed in two crashes in Schuylkill County, both occurring on Saturday.

Three died in a crash that occurred about 1:25 a.m. along SR61, a mile south of the Schuylkill Mall Road, in Blythe Township, just north of Saint Clair.

State police at Frackville identified the deceased as Shawn Centeleghe, 19, of Friedensburg; Jason Engleman, 23, and Cassandra J. Snyder, 16, both of Pottsville.

Troopers said Centeleghe was operating a 2006 Hyundai Tiburon northbound and traveling too fast for wet road conditions when he lost control of the vehicle while rounding a left-hand curve.

The vehicle left the road on the east berm traveling in a northeast direction. The Tiburon then struck a metal guide rail, causing it to become airborne. While airborne the Tiburon began to roll and traveled about 42-feet where it struck a large advertisement billboard.

The vehicle traveled through the billboard while still airborne. It continued airborne for another 24 feet, at which time it struck a large tree with the roof. The Tiburon came to final rest facing east on its roof at the base of a tree, about 18 feet east of the road.

A passenger, a 16-year-old female from New Philadelphia, was injured but did not sustain any life-threatening injuries. She was transported to a Pottsville area hospital.

The three were pronounced dead at the scene. None of the people involved were wearing seat belts, troopers noted.

The road was shut down for about two and a half hours.

Second crash

The second fatal crash occurred about 8:40 p.m. along SR209 in Reilly Township.

State police at Schuylkill Haven said Kurt L. Rhen, 47, of the village of Donaldson, was operating a 1994 Jeep Wrangler northbound when his vehicle crossed into the southbound lane, for unknown reasons. The Jeep then struck a guide rail on the west side of the road, traveled about 21 feet along the rail, then continued north for another 135 feet, crossing both travel lanes.

The Jeep then hit the guide rail on the east side with the passenger side, traveled along the rail for about 120 feet before it hit a tree on the passenger side. After striking the tree, the Jeep traveled north about 45 feet, striking a dirt and rock embankment before coming to rest.

Rhen was extricated from the vehicle by rescue personnel. He was pronounced dead at the scene by deputy coroner Wallace Hodgson.

The investigation into the crash is continuing, troopers said.

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