LAMAR TOWNSHIP — Both drivers in a collision Tuesday in Clinton County were killed and three children were seriously hurt.
Police are still investigating what happened on Route 220 near Mill Hall but they believe one of the drivers may have been distracted and crossed the center line.
One of the drivers killed was a wife and mother.
Three children, including her son and daughter, had to be flown to the hospital where they were listed in critical condition.
A violent head-on crash killed both drivers and injured three children on Route 220 just after 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Emergency crews rushed the children to the hospital but it was too late for Courtney Rebuck of the Loganton area.
Rebuck was driving the mini van with her daughter Charlotte and son Sam inside along with another young girl she was babysitting.
“They’re roughly the same age as my grandchildren, some of them, and it hurts to the soul sometimes,” said Pat Steinbacher of the Lamar Township Volunteer Fire Company.
Steinbacher helped at the scene with the fire company. After what he and others saw, a meeting will be held this week to help emergency workers cope.
“They’re all bad. It’s somebody’s family no matter what you do. No matter how bad it is, it’s still bad.”
The Sugar Valley Rural Charter School where the Rebuck children go near Loganton was closed a day after the crash partly due to the weather.
Courtney Rebuck was very involved with the school and the “community has been terribly saddened by the recent tragedy involving members of our close-knit ‘family,’” said charter school CEO Logan Coney.
“When it happened, I started crying, didn’t know what else to think. And I couldn’t believe something that bad would happen to such a sweet girl and her mother and brother,” said friend Andrea Oliver.
Police believe the other driver, a man from the Pittsburgh area, was distracted reading paperwork while driving causing him to swerve into the Rebucks’ van.
Friends of the victims are left wondering why the crash even had to happen in the first place.
“Careless people do careless things, make careless mistakes. It can cost people their lives,” said Oliver.
The Rebuck children are in critical condition, said hospital officials.
The third child hurt, a four year old, is also in critical condition according to police.
Counselors will be at the charter school in Clinton County tomorrow.