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Hancock County mourns three teens killed in wreck

By Stephen Huba

For The Weirton Daily Times

NEW MANCHESTER, W.Va. — Students’ after-game plans and a fire department’s attempt to get to a reported chimney fire came to a deadly collision on state Route 8 Saturday night, taking the lives of three Hancock County teenagers.

The accident resulted in the deaths of Kristyn Butcher, 16, of Newell; Kaylin Rice, 16, of Chester; and John Emmett Snow III, 16, of New Cumberland, Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher said.

Butcher and Rice were pronounced dead at the scene, while Snow succumbed to his injuries after being transported to East Liverpool City Hospital, Fletcher said.

Butcher and Rice were juniors at Oak Glen High School, and Snow was a sophomore.

“It’s a terrible, terrible tragedy, and our school community is just devastated by it,” Hancock County Schools Superintendent Suzan Smith said.

Smith struggled to find the right words to express her feelings.

“I just can’t imagine how the families – it just has to be devastating for them. I just can’t imagine what they’re going through.”

“Our young people – their lives are so full and happy, and it’s just hard to understand why they’re taken from us,” Smith said.

“It’s a very sad day for Oak Glen,” Athletic Director Phil Rujak said. “We’re all kind of reeling from this. You never want to have to deal with something like this.”

The crash occurred at 9 p.m. Saturday near the Route 8 entrance to Tomlinson Run State Park, shortly after the New Manchester Volunteer Fire Department had received a report of a chimney fire, the sheriff’s department said. The pumper truck, with six firefighters aboard, had just left the station and was northbound on Route 8 when it was struck by a southbound car driven by Butcher, Fletcher said.

Butcher reportedly pulled into the northbound lane in an attempt to pass another vehicle and then unsuccessfully tried to pull back into the southbound lane, Fletcher said, citing witness statements and crash scene evidence.

“We don’t believe road conditions had anything to do with it. At that time, there wasn’t any precipitation,” Fletcher said…

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