15-Year-Old Girl Behind the Wheel of Deadly Wreck

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PAUPACK TOWNSHIP -- We're learning more about that deadly crash in Wayne County from this past weekend.

Officials now say the car driven by that 15-year-old unlicensed driver is registered to her father who owns a home in Wayne County. Also speed is believed to be a factor.

Days after the deadly crash in Wayne County, investigators are now releasing more information about what led to this wreck near Lake Wallenpaupack Saturday morning.

Officials say a 15-year-old girl from New York got behind the wheel of her parents' car without permission. She and her 16-year-old friend then picked up four boys for breakfast. On their way back, she lost control on Goose Pond Road.

Ryan Lesher, Shamus Digney and Cullen Keffer -- sophomores at Council Rock South High School near Philadelphia -- were killed.

Witnesses say speed was a factor.

This crash is weighing on the minds of parents, teens and school officials in the Poconos.

"You know you always worry about it, and I think one of the things that kids don't understand is it can happen to any of us at any time," said Stroudsburg Area School District Superintendent Dr. John Toleno.

About 200 high school juniors and seniors drive to school at Stroudsburg Area High School every day. Many of them are reflecting on the terrible crash that happened near their home.

"It's really sad especially because they're so young and it could be prevented," said Stroudsburg Area senior Kalista Gioglio.

Officials say the 15-year-old was obviously too young to have a valid driver's license.

The girl's father owns a home in Wallenpaupack Lake Estates Development.

Grief counselors were on hand Tuesday as students returned to school, coping with the loss of three classmates.

Teen drivers in Stroudsburg say that deadly wreck is a harsh reminder of how dangerous driving can be.

"Just the biggest thing is when you step into a car is don't take anything for granted. Put the phone away, go the speed limit and you should be fine," said Stroudsburg Area senior Mike Nickorak.

Safety officers are present in the parking lots here at Stroudsburg Area daily.

School officials say permits are revoked if any high school driver is seen acting inappropriate.

"Part of our responsibility as educators running a school district as we do is to make sure we have constant reminders out to the kids that at any time something can reach out and grab you," said Dr. Toleno.

The investigation into this wreck is ongoing.

Wayne County's district attorney says charges will be filed in the juvenile court system as this case moves forward.


  • rich

    parents let the government tell them how to raise there kids if you punish them you run the risk of having them taken away and you charged I say charge me then cause this dad is a bear no b.s going on in our house do as I say or spend your life in the corner and writing I AM MY SONS TEACHER ITS HARD BUT I WILL NEVER STOP

  • Radar

    Why are they interviewing students from Stroudsburg? Wallenpaupack high school is just down the road from this accident. Western Wayne is not far either. Stroudsburg? Why there?

  • Debi Coll

    This is all very sad, and I’m sure there are legalities involved, but I really wish they would publicize this girl’s name and her parent’s names. If she gets off with a slap on the wrist, who’s to say she won’t do it again if it’s all kept hush-hush.

  • Malarky

    Don’t give me the “you don’t know how hard it is to parent a teen” malarky. I parented 3 teens, just a few years ago. My kids may have made mistakes, but none of them were nearly as bad as what I hear on the news on a daily basis. They are all respectful, drug free, hard working, young adults with morals. Unfortunately, we have a lot of self- absorbed people becoming parents, that care less about what their children are doing, and more about what they’re doing. We have a lot of young kids getting away with terrible things, because their parents never reprimanded them. I’m sorry people, but sometimes it takes more than a slap on the wrist and shake of your head, to get a kid to stop doing the wrong thing. A 15 year old girl stole her parents car to pick up 4 boys? Seriously? If she doesn’t get her act together, she’ll be another pregnant teen, and we will have another baby on this earth that won’t get the care it needs and deserves. Shame on the parents and shame on the girl. I hope she’s held responsible for what she’s done.

    • notacountrydweller

      Depends on who they’re with I suppose..doesn’t take long or much for kids to find themselves in an uh-oh situation even if they start out with innocent intent or none at all for that matter. Between the ages of 13-18 you have to lengthen their leash one painful link at a time while praying along the way!

      • Swede

        Maybe my kids will rebel, but I know I am always there for them, and am teaching them to the best of my abilities. It is exhausting, but hopefully I will produce good, moral, intelligent members of society. That is my only purpose in life.

  • Swede

    Twitch teenager, you must run a household almost like a prison, you must be extremely organized, and be aware of what is going on constantly. It is very tough, parenting.

  • Sammy

    Seat-belts? One account says all three boys were thrown outside of the vehicle after the accident. Were they using seat-belts? Were the three survivors using seat belts? If they were not used, should some of the responsibility be on the victims? Maybe everyone involved could have made better choices? Contrary to some opinion, seat-belts save lives.

  • Swede

    Didn’t the girl’s parents notice that the huge tank Suburban was missing, along with their teenaged daughter? If one is so consumed with something that they do not notice their child and tank are missing, one should have never been given the privilege to become a parent. Teenagers require the same amount of time and attention as infants.

  • Swede

    Where were the parents of this teenager? By the age of 15 years old, I would hope one would know right from wrong, and I am sure this girl knew what she was doing was wrong, but thought that she, and everyone else in the car, were invincible. That is the thought process of most teens. However, that being said, where the hell were her parents, and how about the boy’s parents, didn’t anyone see or care who was driving this tank of a car? Sadly, and devastatingly, this shows extremely poor judgement on the teenager’s part, and a blatant lack of parenting on the girl’s parents, and unfortunately, on the poor boy’s parents.

  • poor kids

    Who’s to say that the dad didn’t know that the girl had the car? That probably wasn’t her first time driving the car. So let’s get off the kids and start looking at the parents

    • Warløck

      Here’s another thought: Let people take responsibility for their own actions.

      Clearly you’ve never been the parent of a teenager.

    • Swede

      She is 15! Yes, I agree that she made a devastating decision to drive, but clearly, her parents were not looking after her. Where were the parents? She should face the consequences and be punished somehow, that is for the courts to decide, however the parents are just as guilty, if not more.

    • notacountrydweller

      This is a nightmare, and yeah, the ATV’s are another problem. Just like how that guy wasn’t held responsible for endangering his 2 yr old son taking him on the atv with him, WITHOUT a helmet, and the kid leaned on the acceleration so it’s said and the kid bashed his head in a rock. If my kid steals the keys out of my room, or out of my purse, shame on him, if he steals them off the kitchen table, shame on me. I said it before, I will say it again, firearms, car keys, meds..keep them out of the reach of children. If you have to keep your kitchen knives and power tools locked up too? Maybe it’s the kid needs locked up then.

  • vanessa

    This is another perfect example of another kid that doesn’t have any rules or discipline in her life. Apparently she thought it was ok to just do whatever she wanted and wasn’t going to have to suffer the consequences. Well now she has to face the cold hard fact that she took away three children from their families. Maybe the parents are to blame but mostly she should have thought before acting. The sad part is that most kids these days are the same way. Everywhere I look there is a 16 year old with a brand new vehicle that mommy and daddy bought for them and they have no respect for it or the other people on the road. Maybe parents need to start making their kids work for what they want like I did. They might respect it more because they actually had to work their butts off to get it instead of just having it handed to them. This girl is gonna have a long hard life ahead of her because she now has to live with the fact that she took three innocent lives of friends. I know if it were me I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.

    • notacountrydweller

      You ain’t kiddin’ like using daddy’s car to go steal steaks, damage corn fields, smash mailboxes, and throw rocks thru peoples windshields. This time 3 young men lost their lives.

  • John

    Its really bad that this happened…but what the hell,were they thinking? Did anyone really think it was a good idea putting their lives in the hands of an unlicensed 15 year old?

    • tom

      They thought nothing of what they were doing.A terrible tragedy.but-it seems like so many young people are left on their own a;lot,without supervision.We are in a ME society.Parent and children both-facebook,texting,planning activities separately.I have grown children and while they were tots in to teens,they were supervisied-told “NO” when necessary.Parents these days don’t do that.

      • notacountrydweller

        You said it. Parents don’t know what’s going on in their own homes. And no matter how terrifying my reaction, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the line; “I didn’t think.” I will still raise hell when they misbehave, whether 8 or 80 if you’re under my roof it’s my way or the highway. Just don’t cause problems, don’t be lazy, and act like a civilized human being and everyone gets along fine. Trouble is the parents’ conduct at times is just as anarchical as the kids.

  • Nancy

    How very sad. Why in the world would a 15 yr old think it’s OK to drive her parents car when she’s not even old enough? I would imagine her father will be asking that when he finds out he’ll be sued for every last thing he has. Bless the families of those who were lost…..just so sad.

  • ME2

    We have rules for a reason, teenagers, and this is the type of thing that happens sometimes when you disobey. It should be interesting to see how this girl deals with this throughout her life. Very sad incident. BTW, what does Wayne have to do with “the Poconos?”

    • Native

      Why report on what students over an hour away from this tragedy think. How about Wallenpaupack area where the wreck happened. Looks like another”purple curtain” moment. If we don’t talk to our kids who drive past the sight daily maybe they won’t do it!?!?

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    What did they call it again, “Affluenza”????????????????????????

    I would have never even thought about doing that as a kid for fear of my dad kicking the crap out of me. Maybe we need more dads constructively kicking the crap out of their out of line kids.

    I’m not talking abuse either, so don’t get all worked up.

    • Think before you do!!

      I totally agree with you there!! We need parents to be parents to there kids not a friend they have enough of them in school and what not!! If I ever did this t dad would have killed me not like kill kill but I would have been punished! These parents need to step up to the plate! I don’t get what kids are thinking now a day I am only 26! And everything is so different! No one has morals, respect for them selfs, or even respect for others! This world is coming to an end fast and hard!! These kids need to start thinking! She will have to live with this for the rest of her life! But at least her parents will be able to see her face but the parents who lost them other kids will never get them back!

      • j

        How would you know how her parents raised her. My parents were always there to teach me right from wrong, and give me a kick in the butt when I screwed up. And that’s my point, I still screwed up from time to time and in no way was it my parents fault. Im now living a very comfortable, successful life. Parents can only do so much before they have to let their kids make there own choices. Relax there, the world is not coming to an end.

      • notacountrydweller

        Well J, the world came to and end for these boys and their families and friends now didn’t it?! May they RIP and watch over our teens.

      • Swede

        Unless all parents, the girl’s parents and the boy’s parents, were in hospital or incapacitated, they are largely to blame. We are talking about 15 and 16 year old teens, not 17 or 18 year old. They were only sophomores in high school! Someone was not doing their job.

      • Swede

        J, maybe you will understand if you ever become a parent. The worlds of these families that have lost babies have ended.

      • Swede

        J, you are one of the lucky ones. You cannot understand how difficult it is to be a parent, until you become one. You are looking at this from a child’s point if view, not a parent’s.

  • Frank DeNunzio

    Hey WNEP — you goofed — Ok, so interview kids from Stroudsburg, but why in your story did you say that the school and the kids are reflecting on an accident that happened near their home ? Stroudsburg is no where near WLE / Lake Wallenpaupack area (which is in the Lake Ariel / Ledgedale area of Wayne County) , the accident happened near Ledgedale — Maybe you should get a map out WNEP and check your addresses first…

    • Chelsea

      Hey Frank! Ever hear the expression “it hit close to home?” reword it and thats what you get that was put into the story. get a grip! Three teenages lost their lives in this tragic accident and you are worried about something so minor?! Shame on you!

      • Frank DeNunzio

        I do get a grip lady – I’m a first responder, and I have to “get a grip” with these types of things all the time… This is something that happened in my area, or should I say “close to home” because it was about 5 miles away… I would be more concerned as a parent and TV viewer on how the victims schools and the students are dealing with this situation or how the community in my area is dealing with this or the victim’s home communities are dealing with this as opposed to how people an hour away are handling it and reflecting on it… But see, I have a different perspective because all of firefighters get to see how the events played out while people at home get the “safe to view” version because if people really knew what these accidents screens look like, they would have a totally different view on these situations and most people could never “get a grip” with the reality of the situation

  • Archer

    What a horrible thing to have happened. We keet our car keys in our room, purse etc…not within reach just like fire arms, meds, and etc…better safe than sorry..however, is there was a friend who was a licensed driver and she was still behind the wheel could’ve happened anyway. So many tragic accidents in our area lately. Reckless driving, DUI, speeding..enough already! So sorry for family and friends for all loved ones lost.

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