Wednesday morning’s six-car pile-up delays student commutes

Another car accident this school year caused massive delays for students this past Wednesday.

photo by Lucie Flagg

Mia Capretta, Staff Writer

On Wednesday morning, NASH was buzzing with stories about a car wreck unlike any most students had ever seen before. A 6-car pile-up took place at 6:40 AM on March 11th in fron of the Rt. 19 McDonald’s just north of the NASH entrance. 

Many students noticed something was wrong before even turning onto Perry Highway that morning.

“The line was backed up all the way to Sheetz,” Tristan Puschaver said. ” I couldn’t see any flashing lights yet, so I had no idea what could have caused traffic to be this bad.”

Senior Hannah Phillips had a similar experience.

“I saw the ambulance flying down 19 but I had no idea it would be that bad,” she said.

After some early investigation, McCandless police concluded that the wreck was most likely due to one car running a red light combined with a distracted driver. The collision took a total of six cars off of the road. Ambulances were on the scene shortly afterwards.  Three cars needed to be towed, while the others were able to drive away.

No NA students were involved in the accident.   Fortunately, all the drivers are in stable condition and only three of them needed medical attention. 

The collision was massive enough to shut down the entire intersection where it occurred. The police worked hard to create secondary routes for students to take because that intersection is used by the majority of student drivers. Some of the routes included completely turning around and driving in a different direction.

Because the accident delayed traffic for so long, many students were concerned about making it to school on time.

“I called the attendance office because I knew I was never going to make it in time,” Carsyn Nash said. “I was sure they had already heard about the wreck, but I didn’t know how late they would let us come in.”

An announcement made moments after the first-period bell rang informed teachers to allow students an extra 25 minutes to arrive to class. Mrs. Fenton, the attendance secretary at NASH, was surprised by the number of students that were able to make it here in that extra time.

“I didn’t see many students come in late after the extra time,” Fenton said. “It must have been just enough time for everyone to get here.” 

Not only was the school day at NASH affected, but two other drivers about five minutes down the road also had an incident of their own. NASH English teacher Mr. Rhinehart witnessed another car accident due to the long traffic line.

“I was sitting in traffic and in the lane next to me, I saw a car speed up to the red light and hit the car in front of it at the light,” Rhinehart said.

The car that was hit immediately pulled into a nearby plaza. Rhinehart watched as the other car sped off, completing a hit and run.

“The minute I saw the hit happen I looked at the car’s license plate and I memorized the number,” Rhinehart added. “I rolled my window down and told the young person that the number and advised they call the police. I called the police myself to ensure there was a witness to the hit and run.” 

Although Wednesday had a rough start, life at NASH continued as usual, though students paid extra close attention to the road on the way home.