Community Mourns Death of Teen Driver

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MAHANOY CITY -- Police are investigating a deadly crash in Schuylkill County that involved an 18-year-old man who had just graduated high school in June.

A ride with friends turned tragic near Mahanoy City when the driver lost control and the car rolled. The driver was killed. Officials said Jonathan Palubinsky, 18, died. The coroner's office said if he was wearing a seat belt he probably would have survived.

Neighbor Jennifer Taylor said she witnessed state troopers giving the tragic news to the victim's mother.

"I was really shocked. I couldn't believe it happened. It was tragic to everybody in the neighborhood, and when we saw the staties show up and his mom was crying, I really felt sorry for her," said Taylor.

Justin Schieferdecker, 14, is a friend of Palubinsky. He was very saddened by the death.

"When the cops came I thought he was just hurt, and everybody was saying he died, and I just thought that he's in a better place now," said Schieferdecker.

Palubinsky graduated from Mahanoy Area High School this year. School officials said he wanted to be a teacher. He was also on the sidelines during football and basketball games as a manager.

High School principal Tom Smith said he was also one of Palubinsky's teachers.

"Like I said, he was very popular here, a beloved student with our faculty, staff and student body. I started to think, he had so much ahead of him, he was on the right track. It's just an unfortunate situation," said Smith.

School officials said counselors will be at the high school on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1p.m. for those who need to talk about the death.