Pa. wreck leaves three dead

June 23, 1997


Staff Writer, Chambersburg

McCONNELLSBURG, Pa. - The driver and two passengers were killed and another passenger was seriously injured when the car they were in hit a utility pole and several trees and then landed on its roof early Sunday morning on Pa. 655 about three miles south of Harrisonville, Pa., according to Pennsylvania State Police.

The car's driver, Earl J. Souders, 27, of McConnellsburg, and two passengers, Steven Groce, 17, of McConnellsburg and Michael Grove, 17, of Altoona, Pa., were pronounced dead at the scene by Fulton County Coroner Dennis Buterbaugh, police said.

Kenneth Spriggs, 24, of McConnellsburg, remains in serious condition in Washington County Hospital's intensive care unit, according to a hospital spokesperson.


The 1:20 a.m. accident in Licking Township occurred when the driver lost control of the 1986 Mercury Cougar as it was rounding a left hand turn in the northbound lane of Pa. 655, according to a police report.

The car traveled off the road and hit a utility pole, snapping it in half, and then hit several trees before it came to rest on its roof trapping the four inside, police said.

Firefighters and ambulance personnel from McConnellsburg and Needmore removed the occupants from the car, police said.

None of them were wearing seat belts, police said.

The car was destroyed, according to the police report.

The accident is still under investigation.

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