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Pa. teen dies in auto accident

July 10, 1998|By RICHARD F. BELISLE

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Dwayne Matthew Mummert, 17, on Friday became the fifth teenager to die in Franklin County traffic accidents in the last three weeks.

Mummert was pronounced dead Friday morning at Chambersburg Hospital less than half an hour after his compact car struck a utility pole on U.S. 30 West, Pennsylvania State Police said.

According to police, Mummert was westbound on U.S. 30 West just east of Obsidian Drive at 6:55 a.m. Friday when his 1989 Mazda 323 sedan crossed the oncoming lane, struck a road sign and then hit a utility pole at the driver's side door.

The car went another 25 feet before coming to a stop, police said. Mummert was wearing a seat belt, police said.

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He was pronounced dead at the hospital of multiple trauma, police said.

Mummert was going to enter his senior year at James Buchanan High School in September, according to a Tuscarora School District spokeswoman.

"This is awful," said Schools Superintendent Ted Rabold when he learned of Mummert's death Friday. "This makes five teenagers in three weeks," he said. Rabold said he didn't know Mummert personally.

Mummert played on the school football and baseball teams. He also was on the journalism committee of the yearbook staff.

He worked in building construction for Laurich Co. Inc. near Chambersburg.

Members of Mummert's family could not be reached Friday night.

Three Franklin County teenagers and a 17-year-old boy from Lewistown, Pa., died on June 20 when the car they were in hit a tree on Mercersburg Road east of Mercersburg. A fifth passenger in that car survived.

Killed in the June 19 wreck were Tiarra May Miller, 19, of 4752 Fort Loudon Road, Mercersburg; Anthony Todd Kerlin, 16, of 15997 Mountain Green Road, Spring Run, Pa.; Harry Double, 14, of 35999 Lemar Road, Mercersburg; and Ryan Bender, 17, of Lewistown, a cousin of Kerlin who was visiting the area.

Tiarra Miller was a 1997 graduate of James Buchanan High School near Mercersburg. Kerlin completed his junior year in June. Double was a student at James Buchanan Middle School.

"We're really having a rough time over here," said Mercersburg Police Chief Larry Thomas. "I knew four of the five who were killed. It makes it double tough for me because my own son was killed in an a traffic accident in 1991 when he was 19. I can't say how those parents feel, but I know how I felt. It changes your life forever."

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