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Car-buggy crash kills 6-year-old girl

October 28, 1997

By DON AINES

Staff Writer, Martinsburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A 6-year-old girl on her way home from school died Monday afternoon after the pony cart in which she was riding with her brother and sister was struck from behind by a car on Newburg Road in Lurgan Township, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

Bena Mae Stoltzfus, of Orrstown, Pa., was pronounced dead at Chambersburg Hospital at 4:21 p.m., according to Franklin County Coroner Kenneth L. Peiffer.

He said an autopsy would be performed in Allentown, Pa., today to determine exact cause of death.

Bena Mae Stoltzfus and her sister, Miriam Amelia Stoltzfus, 10, were riding in a two-wheeled cart driven by their brother, Benjamin Ray Stoltzfus, 8, at the time of the accident.

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The cart was struck from behind by a car driven by Jason Scott Johnson, 19, of Orrstown, state police said.

Johnson was unhurt, according to police. Miriam and Benjamin Stoltzfus were treated at Chambersburg Hospital and released, police said.

The cart and the car were both westbound at about 3:30 p.m. when Johnson's 1993 Ford Mustang crested a hill, according to police.

Johnson saw the cart and hit the brakes, which locked up and sent the car into a skid, according to police. The Mustang struck the rear of the cart, ejecting the three Stoltzfus children.

"They were coming home from school. The same way they did every day," Peiffer said.

He said the speed limit on that section of road is 45 mph.

Parents of the children are Daniel and Suzanne Stoltzfus, according to authorities.

The accident happened four-tenths of a mile from the Lurgan Road intersection.

Peiffer said the accident happened about half a mile from the family's home.

The accident remained under investigation, police said.

State police were assisted at the scene by the Pleasant Hall Volunteer Fire Co.

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