Police cite speed in Chesco crash that killed 4 teens

Tyler Wales,16, hugs Brittany Alison, 16, (back to camera) on July 3, 2011, after she and Kelsey Brinton, 16, (left) and Mandi Geckle,16, (right) brought balloons and signs to growing memorial at the scene along Manor Road where four of their Coatesville HS classmates died in a crash overnight. (Tom Gralish / Staff Photographer)
Tyler Wales,16, hugs Brittany Alison, 16, (back to camera) on July 3, 2011, after she and Kelsey Brinton, 16, (left) and Mandi Geckle,16, (right) brought balloons and signs to growing memorial at the scene along Manor Road where four of their Coatesville HS classmates died in a crash overnight. (Tom Gralish / Staff Photographer)

No seats belt were used, and illegal substances were found at the Rte. 82 scene, authorities said.

Posted: July 05, 2011

West Brandywine police say "excessive speed was a factor" in the one-car crash that killed four teenagers at a dangerous Chester County intersection early Sunday.

A police statement also said that the victims had not been wearing seat belts and that "illegal substances were found at the crash scene," on Route 82 just north of Route 322.

Sgt. Jeff Kimes, the traffic safety officer, would not elaborate. Responding to reports that the teenagers may have been eluding police, Kimes said: "At this point, there was not an active police pursuit just prior to the accident."

The county coroner performed autopsies and took blood samples, but the results are pending, he said.

The deceased were identified as Collin McElroy, 16, and Jerry Warfel, 14, both of Honey Brook, and Evan Pringle, 15, and Kyle Marsh, 17, both of Coatesville.

The four were ejected from the car. Police would not say who was driving it or release its make and model.

"This is still under investigation," Kimes said. Police asked any witnesses to call the department at 610-380-8201.

The car flipped over and slid up an embankment just before 1 a.m.

Jim Stringer, who lives nearby off Route 82, said accidents were frequent at the intersection, which he drives through to get to work.

"Someone ran a light and hit a guy on a motorcycle a couple months ago, and around the same time a couple of horses who escaped from a barn were killed by a car," Stringer said.

"When the light turns green, I don't move until I see no one is coming, because there are so many accidents there," he said.

Close to the intersection is a sign with blinking lights that says "Dip 200 feet," and then there is a bump on Route 322.

The teenagers attended the Coatesville Area School District, which plans to hold free grief counseling from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at its 11/12 library.

A funeral services for McElroy will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Olivet United Methodist Church, 310 E. Chestnut St., Coatesville, after a visitation at 9. Burial will be at Fairview Cemetery.

Wilde Funeral Home is handling McElroy's arrangements and private services for Pringle, who is being cremated.

Funeral arrangements for the other two students were not yet known.

Wilde Funeral Home said on its website that McElroy had just completed his sophomore year at Coatesville Area High School, where he was on the baseball team. "He also was active, for over 10 years, with the Caln Little League. He enjoyed boating with his family and friends at Raystown Lake," the funeral home noted.


Contact staff writer Jan Hefler

at 856-779-3224 or jhefler@phillynews.com.

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