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November 3, 2013

Two killed in car accidents

— Two young men died over the weekend from two separate car accidents, and investigators said alcohol appeared to be involved in both.

In Cambria County, an investigation was underway Sunday into what caused a Summerhill Township crash that claimed the life of a 21-year-old Beaverdale man, state police in Ebensburg said.

Lyle D. Popish, 21, was a passenger in a Chevy Equinox that crashed on Route 53 shortly before 3 a.m. Sunday. He died from injuries sustained after the SUV he was traveling in hit an embankment, Cambria Chief Deputy Coroner Jeffrey Lees said.

Popish, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle after it veered off the road, went airborne and overturned, Lees said. Popish died of massive chest injuries, the coroner said.

Police said the driver, Zeth D. Markel, 20, apparently lost control of his car while negotiating a curve in the road.

Markel, who also was not wearing a seatbelt, was taken to Memorial Medical Center with moderate injuries, police said.

State police are investigating what role alcohol may have played in the wreck, saying toxicology results are pending.

A state police accident reconstruction team was also called to process the crash scene.

In an unrelated incident, a 21-year-old Hooversville area man died Saturday evening of injuries sustained in a Somerset County accident Oct. 31.

Lees said Cody Allen Jerin was behind the wheel of a 2004 Chevy sedan heading east on Green Bridge Road in Jenner Township when he lost control of the car while rounding a curve.

His vehicle left the road and dropped about 25 feet down into an embankment below, ejecting Jerin, Lees said.

Jerin was not wearing a seatbelt, he added. A blood test after the crash showed his blood alcohol level was .06 percent, which is below the state’s legal level for impairment, Lees said.

Jerin sustained head injuries from blunt force trauma in the crash, he added.

He was taken to Memorial Medical Center where he died in the intensive care unit Saturday.

The Deaner Funeral Home in Hooversville is handling funeral arrangements for Jerin, with a visitation scheduled for 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday.

David Hurst is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tddavidhurst.

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