FORKS TWP., Pa. - Heartache just days before the holidays. A father and his 6-year-old daughter are dead following a car crash less than a block from their home.
Charles Eberharter, 47, was killed Tuesday when he lost control of his car and slammed into a tree on Paxinosa Road, Forks Township. His six-year-old daughter Juliana was in the back seat. She died at the hospital Tuesday night but not before some neighbors did all they could to save the little girl.
"I can still see her face, all night long, you know, you wake up, and I was just hoping and praying that she made it," explained Judy Russo.
She is still shaken up about what she saw Tuesday. Russo and another neighbor were the first ones to the scene of a car crash on Paxinosa Road.
"I just saw a car down off the road into a tree," recalled Russo. "She got out of the car and started going down the embankment and already was calling 911, I was calling 911."
She says the white sedan's windshield was shattered. The passenger window smashed.
"We could see the man laying across the dashboard," described Russo.
Juliana was in the back seat.
"I opened the door, the little girl had her seat belt on and I saw that her lips were blue, and she wasn't breathing."
Russo and the other neighbor got Juliana out of the car to try to save her life.
"I was holding her neck and she was performing CPR," shared Russo. "All I was thinking about is getting this child to breathe."
Russo says she was numb through the ordeal, just trying to stay calm.
After a few minutes police and paramedics arrived on scene. Officials say Charles Eberharter was killed in the crash. Juliana was taken to the hospital where she later died.
"Sad, just how short life is and how quick in an instant two people are dead for a stupid mistake."
Russo says a woman who witnessed the crash tells her Eberharter swerved to miss a woman walking her dog.
An investigation into the crash is ongoing.
Allentown, PA 18102