80-year-old nun hit, killed by PECO truck in Northeast Philadelphia identified

Sister Frances Antoinette Engler was hit while attempting to cross an intersection, police say.

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Friday, August 6, 2021
Local high school mourns nun, 80, struck and killed in NE Philly
Sister Frances Antoinette Engler taught theology at Archbishop Ryan High School.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- An archdiocesan school is mourning the loss of a devoted 80-year-old educator killed in a crash in Northeast Philadelphia.

It happened just after 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Academy and Morrell roads.

The victim has been identified as Sister Frances Antoinette Engler, who taught theology at Archbishop Ryan High School. She was also involved in the Community Services Corps.

A member of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, Sister Frances was assigned to Christ the King Church, which is near the scene of the accident.

Police say Antoinette was hit by a PECO truck while attempting to cross the intersection.

The driver was reportedly making a left turn when he unintentionally hit her.

She was taken from the scene to Jefferson-Torresdale Hospital where she passed away.

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At this point, police say this appears to be a tragic accident and do not think the crash will lead to any arrests.

The high school released the following statement on its Facebook page, along with a photo of Sister Frances with students:

"We are heartbroken to share the news that Sister Frances Antoinette died suddenly today in a tragic accident.

She was a remarkable woman who dedicated her life to God, the community, and the students of Archbishop Ryan.

As we searched for a picture to share, this one felt perfect as she's surrounded by students working on Operation Santa Claus.

As the moderator of Community Service Corps, Sister touched the lives of thousands and thousands of young people in our area.

She taught theology in the classroom, and she truly lived by it outside of the classroom. Upon learning of her passing, several folks reached out and credited her for teaching them the value and power of volunteerism."

Archbishop Nelson Perez issued the following statement on Friday morning:

"I was deeply saddened to learn that Sister Frances Antoinette, S.S.J. died in a tragic accident yesterday. In the name of the bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated religious, and lay faithful of the Archdiocese, I express prayerful condolences to her fellow religious, the Archbishop Ryan High School community, and all those who mourn her passing.

Sister Frances Antoinette was a faithful witness to Christ and His Church. She enriched the lives of many young people through her dedication to the mission of Catholic education for several decades. In addition, she touched the lives of thousands of people throughout our region by serving as the coordinator for Archbishop Ryan High School's Community Service Corps. She inspired students to be faithful witnesses to Christ by serving as missionary disciples.

This moment is one of deep sorrow. I ask all people of good will to join me praying for the soul of Sister Frances Antoinette, for the consolation and peace of her family, and for all those are suffering as a result of her death. May the Lord pour His mercy upon them and hold them in His loving embrace."