Six killed in Allegheny National Forest collision


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State police in Kane are trying to determine what caused a woman driving an SUV to cross the center line, striking a car head-on and killing six people, including two children.

Kathy Douglas, 36, of Kane was driving south on State Route 219 in the Allegheny National Forest about 4:30 p.m. Saturday when she struck a Pontiac Bonneville carrying four people, state police said on Sunday. The Pontiac was torn apart and Ms. Douglas' car spun clockwise until it stopped along the road.

Ms. Douglas' 12-year-old daughter, Olivia Douglas, and 6-year-old nephew, Jarrett Costanzo, died at the scene. Ms. Douglas and her 10-year-old son, whose name has not been released, were flown to local trauma centers.

All four occupants of the car died at the scene as well. They were identified as Gary Beimel, 62; his wife, Elaine Beimel, 55; Ms. Beimel's brother, David Cuneo, 54, and their aunt Florence Donachy, 81. All four were from St. Marys, Pa.

Trooper Roger McCloskey told The Associated Press on Sunday that he believed Ms. Douglas was at fault and could face charges.

"The have no idea yet, but the investigation is continuing," he said.

It was unclear Sunday whether some of the people were wearing seat belts, but Trooper McCloskey wrote in a news release that Jarrett, Ms. Douglas' son, Ms. Beimel and Ms. Donacy definitely were not wearing them. Troopers continue to investigate.

Cummings Funeral Home in Kane is handling arrangements for the children. Sam Cummings, who works at the funeral home, said Jarrett had just recently started kindergarten at Kane Area Elementary School.

The Lynch-Green Funeral Home in St. Marys is handling arrangements for the occupants of the car.

"This is obviously very overwhelming for everyone," funeral director Michelle Muccio said. "We're doing everything we can to help these families through this difficult time."

breaking - region

Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil.


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