At least three people are dead and several others severely injured after a two-vehicle crash along the Shenango Valley Freeway late Friday night.
Two of those killed were Sharon High School football players. Both were seniors. A District 10 class AA playoff game scheduled for 1 p.m. today in Erie was postponed until Monday evening because of the deaths.
As many as six people were involved in the accident, some of them teenagers and younger. Among those injured were other members of Sharon’s football team.
Police, firefighters and emergency rescue personnel from Sharon, Farrell, Brookfield and Greenville as well as four Stat MedEvac helicopters responded to the scene underneath the South Oakland Avenue viaduct in Sharon.
At least three people were trapped in a silver SUV that came to rest sideways in the middle of the freeway, facing north.
Emergency crews said the driver of a pickup truck was being transported to Sharon Regional Health System with a “traumatic cardiac arrest.”
Firefighters said there was “heavy entrapment” in the SUV and they were having difficulty extricating victims from the vehicle.
Two white sheets were placed over victims ejected from the SUV.
A woman who said her 17-year-old son was driving the SUV was waiting for word on his condition. She said he was coming home from a football playoff game at Hickory High School. When police spoke to the woman at the scene, she collapsed onto the road sobbing.
A black Dodge Ram pickup truck with severe damage to its front and side came to rest along the south embankment. The male driver of the pickup truck was one of the fatalities. Two children, ages 10 and 12, were in the back of the truck. The 10-year-old was taken to Sharon Regional Health System, and the 12-year-old was flown to a pediatric burn unit.
Names and ages of those killed and the other victims were not available from police Friday night.
Helicopters landed on the freeway, east of the viaduct and also at the Sharon football field.
The accident happened shortly after 10 p.m.
Connelly Boulevard was closed from Stambaugh Avenue west to Sharpsville Avenue.
Residents who live nearby came out after hearing the loud crash. “I thought a semi wiped something out,” said one man who stood back watching rescue crews. Crowds gathered on the viaduct, parking on both sides of the road to look at the scene. Police from Southwest Mercer County Regional were dispatched to break up the crowd.