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Authorities identify three killed in Pa. crash

May 29, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

MERCERSBURG, PA. -- Authorities have identified the victims of a Saturday evening accident as Mercersburg relatives Gregory Robert Burt, 20; Michelle Diane Monninger, 39; and Nicole R. Shoemaker, 27.

All three were thrown from a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt traveling in the 200 block of Johnston's Lane, Pennsylvania State Police said.

Franklin County (Pa.) Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner pronounced them dead at the scene at 7:50 p.m.

The Cobalt was traveling east on Johnston's Lane when the driver lost control for unknown reasons, police said.

The car hit a curb, then crossed two driveways and hit another curb, police said.

The car went airborne and hit a tree. It flew over an embankment, hit the ground, flipped and struck another tree, police said.

The vehicle became upright and spun 180 degrees, police said.

In a news release, police said they believe all three people were thrown from the car after it hit the second tree. Troopers said none of the victims was wearing a seat belt.

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The speed limit on the residential street is 25 mph.

"We're surmising it (was) a high-speed crash," Trooper Eric Campbell said at the scene.

Police said they haven't yet determined who was driving the car, which sustained extensive front-end damage.

Conner listed the causes of death as blunt-force head injuries for Burt, multiple blunt-force trauma for Monninger and blunt-force chest trauma for Shoemaker.

The crash is one of the deadliest in the Tri-State area in more than two years. Four Virginia men were killed on Feb. 13, 2008, when the van in which they were riding collided with a tractor-trailer on U.S. 340 near Charles Town, W.Va.

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