Victoria Place, mother of 2 children killed in crash on Route 61 "quiet", friend says

Author: , Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published: Mar 26 2013 08:00:00 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 27 2013 02:40:47 PM EDT
LEBANON, Pa. -

Efforts are under way to help a grieving mother whose two young daughters were killed in a car accident on Palm Sunday.

Victoria Place had just attended Faith Church in West Brunswick Twp., Schuylkill Co., on Sunday and was driving her two daughters off the church parking lot and on to Route 61, near South Liberty Street, when her car was hit by an oncoming Honda Accord, driven by a 17-year-old boy, authorities said.

Place is recovering at Lehigh Valley Hospital near Allentown. Her good friend, Justine Ellinger, spoke with Place.

"Right now, she doesn't have many words," Ellinger said. "She's just very quiet, to be honest."

Ellinger, along with her boyfriend, Bill Lukach, said they have been working non-stop for the past two days preparing a fundraiser for Place to help her through the grieving process.

"It doesn't take the pain away," Ellinger said, "but it helps to know that people are there for you, and I felt that I needed to be there for my friend."

This tragedy opens old wounds for Ellinger. Several years ago, she also lost her 5-month old daughter, Kiera.

"I've gone through it. There's not really any words that you can say. It's just very sad. That's all you feel. You're very overwhelmed with sadness," Ellinger said.

The funerals for Catrina Williams, 3, and her sister, Carianna Kroh, 6, are scheduled for Monday at Faith Church.

The Victoria Place benefit will be held April 6 at the Amvets Post 180 on Seneca Street in Pottsville.

For more information on how to get involved, you can call 717-639-5190. There's also a Facebook page.

The investigation continues.

Police have not released the identity of the 17-year-old driving the other vehicle involved in the accident.

Police have not said whether charges will be filed.