PINE GROVE TOWNSHIP — Two small candles flicker in the wind of a cold January night. They mark the spot where Chase Pahula was struck and killed by a vehicle New Year’s Eve in Schuylkill County.
The 10 year old and his 17-year-old brother were walking their bikes along Suedburg Road near Pine Grove after getting ice cream. Chase was hit by an SUV that came around the curve.
State police said the driver stopped and a medical helicopter was flown in, but Chase’s life was lost.
His aunt Sara Hargraves told Newswatch 16 her nephew was full of life and energy and loved Star Wars, roller skating, and most of all, music.
Donna Jean Donmoyer lives a few doors down the road from where the crash happened.
“It’s tricky when you are out at night. People do not see you right away.”
As she watched her grandchildren enjoy the holiday she said the loss really hits home.
“(My heart) aches for them. Having this happen on New Year’s Eve right before New Years Day.”
The Suedburg Fire Department is just a tenth of a mile from the scene of the crash. Firefighters were having their New Year’s Eve party when the call came in.
Chief engineer Bert Witmer said first responders rushed to find a place for the helicopter to land. He adds that the department now faces a heartbreaking start to 2013.
“It’s just devastating.”
That’s a feeling echoed in the messages written on a cross by the side of the road.