Counseling offered to classmates of students killed in crash

Victims were students at Tulephocken Jr./Sr. HS

JEFFERSON TWP., Pa. - A Berks County high school has opened its doors to classmates of two students who lost their lives in an accident late Tuesday afternoon.

The victims, Sean M. Orner, 18, of Bethel, and Shanon Lynn Althouse, 18, of the Womelsdorf area, were seniors at Tulpehocken Jr./Sr. High School in Jefferson Township, due to graduate in June.

"It was quite a shock to hear the news, because we were going to be graduating with these people and to know that two people in our class passed away," said student Alivia Klopp. "They are in our prayer and in our thoughts."

Both died when the car in which they were passengers went off Bricker Road in Upper Tulpehocken Township, struck a tree, and split in half, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families involved in this tragedy," said Andrew Netznik, Tulpehocken's principal. "We will continue to support our students and community."

The driver, a 17-year-old boy from the Womelsdorf area, was taken to a hospital for treatment of what police described as moderate injuries. They did not release his name.

"We know in that situation God chose to take Shanon and Sean," Klopp said. "All we can do is thank Him for saving one of them."

Klopp, who went all through school with Althouse, said her bubbly personality is going to be missed.

As for Orner, through Facebook messages, one of his friends remembered him as an avid outdoorsman.

"He was the sweetest, most caring guy I've ever met," she said. "He always put others before himself."

Students are on Christmas break, but counselors will be on hand in the school library again from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Thursday.

"When students return on January 2, we will continue to support both students, staff, and family in any way we can," Netznik said.

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