Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Team preps for game days after deadly crash

on November 11, 2013 10:30 AM

SHARON (AP) — A western Pennsylvania high football team prepared to take to the field tonight after mourning the loss of two players in a weekend car crash.

Sharon High School player Corey Swartz, 18, was driving with three teammates Friday night when he crossed the median on a highway in Sharon and hit a truck head-on. Swartz, passenger Evan Gill, 17, and the driver of the pickup, John Zdelar Jr., 50, of Brookfield, Ohio, were killed.

Hundreds of people attended a candlelight vigil at Sharon’s stadium Sunday night.

“They just touched all of our hearts. They could make you laugh no matter what,” a friend of the players, Samantha Lait, told WTAE-TV.

District officials have said speed may have played a role in the crash. Sharon police said investigators do not suspect that alcohol, drugs or texting were a factor.

“I’m going to take this as a lesson learned and I’m going to start being a better, safer driver,” teammate Austin Alfreno said Sunday night.

Fans planned a “whiteout” in the stands of tonight’s playoff game in Erie against Girard High School. That game had been scheduled for Saturday but was postponed. Grief counselors were on hand.

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