City Teacher Is Killed, 5 Students Hurt In Crash

Posted: October 16, 1987

A Philadelphia high school teacher was killed yesterday and five students she was driving to a yearbook conference were seriously hurt when her car collided with another car at a Tredyffrin Township intersection.

Police said Patricia Devlin, 40, a teacher at Archbishop Ryan High School for Girls, died shortly after the 9 a.m. accident, while she was being taken in a medical-evacuation helicopter to Hahnemann University Hospital.

The five students, all seniors at Archbishop Ryan, and the driver of the other car were taken by ambulance to two suburban hospitals. Police said the accident occurred at Upper Gulph and Radnor Street Roads in the Wayne section of Tredyffrin while Devlin and the students were driving to a school yearbook conference at Valley Forge Military Academy in Radnor Township.

Police said Devlin, who lived in the 6800 block of Martin Mill Road, Philadelphia, was driving south on Radnor Street Road when her car collided with a westbound car driven by Marguerite Cammann, 36, of the 1200 block of Upper Gulph Road, Strafford. No charges were filed after the accident, and an investigation into its cause is continuing, police said.

Cammann suffered lacerations and was in guarded condition yesterday at Bryn

Mawr Hospital, according to officials there.

Two students were at the same hospital, also in guarded condition: Lisa D. Tedeschi, 16, of the 9900 block of Downing Place, Philadelphia, with multiple injuries, and Amy Miles, 16, of the 3800 block of Green Acres Road, Philadelphia, with lacerations.

The three other students, all Philadelphia residents, were in Paoli Memorial Hospital with unspecified injuries, police said. Nancy Cunningham, 17, of the 9200 block of Verree Road; Debra Marvel, 17, of the 12000 block of Legion Street, and Terry Creneti, 16, of the 2800 block of Newberry Road, were all listed in stable condition, hospital officials said.

"A tragedy has struck someone who was beloved by the school, and we offer our prayers to her family and students who will miss her greatly," said the Rev. John Sibel, director of communications for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Students and faculty at the parochial school in the Northeast section of the city were stunned by the accident, school officials said. They said a special Mass was held at the school to pray for Devlin and her family.

"It was terrible," said sophomore Jennifer Cummings, 15. "The hallway was quiet; no one was talking. The teachers were crying."

School officials said Devlin had been a lay English teacher at Archbishop Ryan for 19 years.

A lifelong resident of the Burholme section of Philadelphia, she was a graduate of Gywnedd-Mercy College in Gwynedd Valley and received a master's degree from Beaver College in Glenside. She was named Archbishop Ryan's Teacher of the Year last year.

She is survived by a daughter, Maura; her mother, Loretta Clark; two brothers, and a sister.

A funeral Mass will be held at 8 p.m. Sunday at Presentation Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Cheltenham. Burial will be Monday at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Cheltenham. No viewing will be held.

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