Police: Speed Likely Factor in Deadly Crash

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WEST BUFFALO TOWNSHIP -- The victim of a deadly crash in Union County Wednesday was a young man who served his country.

State police are now saying speed likely played a role in the crash yesterday that killed Shawn Bittner, 21, of the Mifflinburg area.

Bittner was a recent graduate of Mifflinburg Area High School and family members say he was a Marine Reservist with his whole life ahead of him.

Orange paint marks the spot on Walbash Road, north of Mifflinburg where troopers said two vehicles smashed into each other Wednesday.

Troopers said Bittner lost control of his Volkswagen and slid into the path of a pickup truck. Bittner died at the scene.

"I heard him coming, he came around the corner flying," said a neighbor who saw the crash and did not want to be identified.

The neighbor said Bittner was known to drive fast on back roads and state police said speed likely played a role in the deadly crash.

"It's sad this young life was taken. It happens, I just wish they'd slow down," added that neighbor.

The crash caused a great deal of damage to the passenger side of Bittner's vehicle. He was in the driver seat and according to state police, was not wearing a seat belt. The vehicle Bittner was in and a pickup truck collided just after Noon on Wednesday.

"Shawn was a nice guy, I don't want to say shy," said Barry King, a former classmate who said Bittner was a nice guy.

Bittner's family said he was in the Marine Reserves and was a fine mechanic who had plans for his future.

People who knew Shawn Bittner are struggling to make sense of his death at a young age.

"I was just in shock pretty much. You know. It's right here. He was only 21 right. 21 years old," added King.

The driver of the pickup and three children who were also in the vehicle were not badly hurt in the crash, according to state police.