The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

September 1, 2013

Route 219 wreck kills 4 adults, 2 kids

KANE — An SUV crossed into oncoming traffic on a rural northwestern Pennsylvania highway and smashed head-on into another vehicle, killing six people, including two children, authorities said Sunday.

A Jeep Liberty driven by 36-year-old Kathy Douglas of Kane crossed the center line at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday and hit an approaching Pontiac Bonneville in the Allegheny National Forest, killing her daughter and nephew as well as four people in the sedan, state police said.

The four occupants of the car, all residents of nearby St. Marys, died in the crash: the driver, Gary Beimel, 62, and passengers David Cuneo, 54, Elaine Beimel, 55, and Florence Donachy, 81.

Douglas’ 6-year-old nephew, Jarrett Costanzo, and 12-year-old daughter, Olivia Douglas, were killed. Douglas and her 10-year-old son were seriously injured. The names of the two deceased children were released by Cummings Funeral Home in Kane, which is handling arrangements.

The injured boy was flown to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, said Sam Cummings, who works at the funeral home.

Douglas was in serious condition Sunday night, said a nursing supervisor at UMPC Hamot in Erie.

The investigating officer, Trooper Roger McCloskey, said he believes Douglas was at fault and will face some sort of charges.

McKean County Coroner Michael Cahill said all six were declared dead at the scene of the wreck, and all died from blunt force trauma injuries. No autopsies were planned, and Cahill released the remains to funeral homes Sunday.

Both vehicles were severely damaged, and U.S. Route 219 was closed in both directions for more than six hours, police said.

Douglas and Gary Beimel were wearing seatbelts, but at least three of the deceased were not, police said.

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