Teenager Mourned After Deadly Off-Road Wreck

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TUNKHANNOCK -- Grief counselors are at Tunkhannock Area High School this week after a junior at the school was killed in an off-roading crash over the weekend.

We learned Tuesday that victim is Christopher Packer, 17, and we learned more about the crash that police believe took his life.

Friends say Packer was a passenger in an off-roading utility vehicle when it wrecked over the weekend in woods off Vago Road in Lemon Township, near Tunkhannock.

The teen is supposed to be among his friends and classmates finishing his junior year at Tunkhannock Area High School.  Instead his death has left a huge void there.

Packer was a wrestler at Tunkhannock Area. School leaders say he is sorely missed.

"He was academically a real good student.  He was involved in our technical programs and he was involved as a wrestler.  So this tragedy not only impacts administration, faculty and staff, it impacts three distinct groups of people in the high school," said Superintendent Michael Healey.

The school district isn't only dealing with students who knew Packer, but his twin brother went to school there, too. So did some of those who were there for the crash.  Some of them haven't returned to class yet but counselors are also available for them.

"We want to make sure we do the best we possibly can for them as well. The tragedy impacts the district K-12 because he was well liked and well respected."

State police are still investing what happened when the off-road vehicle crashed but those who were there say a teenage girl was driving, Packer was a passenger.

At Keystone Truck Caps and Accessories near Tunkhannock, they showed us a UTV similar to the one witnesses say crashed. The place repairs ATVs and off-road vehicles. They say unfortunately, a crash like this serves as an important reminder to all that safety is key, and experience matters.

"Get on uneven terrain, you're unfamiliar with the machine, you still can have an accident.  It's not a toy, you have to be familiar with what you're doing," said Mike Boice.

A memorial service for Christopher Packer will be held Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Tunkhannock United Methodist Church.

Memorial contributions can be made to a scholarship fund set up in his name:

Christopher J. Packer Memorial Scholarship Fund,
c/o Peoples National Bank,
83 E. Tioga Street,
PO Box 149,
Tunkhannock, PA 18657

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