The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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November 10, 2013

Both vehicles were coming from games

Police: Alcohol, texting not factors in fatal crash

SHARON, BROOKFIELD — Police said alcohol, drugs and texting were not factors in the head-on collision that killed two Sharon High School football players and a Brookfield man Friday night on Connelly Boulevard, just west of the Oakland Avenue viaduct. Four other youths were injured.

Those who lost their lives were Corey Swartz, 18, Evan Gill, 17, and John Zdelar, 50, of Brookfield, police said. Swartz, the driver of an SUV, and Gill, a passenger in the SUV, were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident that happened shortly after 10 p.m.

Zdelar, the driver of a pickup with two boys as passengers, was taken to the emergency room of Sharon Regional Health System and was pronounced dead at 10:52 p.m. by Mercer County Coroner J. Bradley McGonigle III.

The cause of all three deaths was blunt force trauma and ruled accidental, McGonigle said.

Two other 17-year-old Sharon football players were in the SUV, twins Greg and Craig Osmon, one in the front passenger seat and the other seated in the back with Gill, police said. The two boys in the pickup were Zdelar’s stepson, Evan Wallace, 10, and their neighbor, Blake Yendrek, 12, both students at Brookfield Middle School, police said.

The four football players were coming from a football playoff game at Hornets Stadium in Hermitage when the SUV driven by Swartz crossed the center line and slammed head-on into the truck driven by Zdelar, Police Chief Michael Menster said.

“I can’t say exactly what caused him to lose control of the car,” Menster said of Swartz. “There has to be more in-depth investigation to be able to determine exactly what happened.”

Ironically, Zdelar had taken the younger boys to the Brookfield football playoff game at George Nicholas Field in Brookfield, according to his wife, Kim Zdelar. He was driving them to Evan’s father’s home in Sharon. Evan was in the front seat and Blake was in the back seat of the extended cab.

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