Horsham crash kills 2 teens, injures 3 others

HORSHAM, PENNSYLVANIA - August 6, 2011

Montgomery County officials said the crash happened at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday in a residential area of Horsham. Horsham police said a westbound car went out of control and veered into a front yard, traveling more than 400 feet and hitting several trees.

Horsham police say the 2007 Honda was traveling at nearly 100 miles per hour when the driver lost control.

Four teenage passengers were with him when the car jumped the curb, roaring through a nearby yard to the rear of a home before being stopped by a tree.

The homeowner was horrified.

"We called 911," said Joe Foulke. "They showed up a few minutes later, and kept everybody away while they worked on the victims. There were two fatalities, and they worked on them for about four hours until they could get them out."

The driver has been identified as Conner McNicholas, age 19 of Ambler. He survived, along with 18-year old Darry Neville of Darby and Tim Kurpiel, age 19 of Horsham.

Police said Robert Nagel, 19, of Ambler, and Edward Coombs, 19, of Horsham, were pronounced dead at the scene. Three other teenagers were taken to the hospital with injuries that police said were not life-threatening.

One of the occupants told investigators that "the car's speedometer read 99 mph seconds before the crash," police said. Investigators also said the occupants had just left a party where "beer and/or mixed drinks" were being consumed. The investigation is continuing with analysis of the driver's blood and reconstruction of the crash.

Sources say both Nagel and Coombs were former lacrosse players at Hatboro-Horsham High School, and Coombs continued to play at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., where he was slated to be a sophomore this fall.

"We can't even handle it," said Liz Myers, a friend of the victims. She said that she had known both for at least six years and graduated with them last year, and had been invited to go with them Friday night but had other plans.

"It's a wake-up call for everybody in Horsham that knew these guys to drive safe," she said, calling Coombs "the funniest, goofiest... best-dressed" and Nagel "a sweetheart, one of the nicest guys in Horsham."

"They were great guys. "They would do anything for anybody," said John Pasciola .

The Montgomery County District Attorney's office is blaming speeding and alcohol for the overnight tragedy.

"This is a tragic combination of alcohol and speed," said Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele. "We will continue the investigation and bring the individual to justice who is responsible for it."

Criminal charges are pending.

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