Coroner: Boyertown grad died of injuries suffered in fall


A recent graduate of Boyertown Area Senior High School has been identified as the victim of a fatal fall near Bloomsburg University, where he was attending classes as a freshman.

An autopsy done Monday on Justin P. King determined he died of head injuries consistent with his fall down an embankment and over a rocky ledge off the Bloomsburg Walking Trail, according to Columbia County Coroner Jeremy Reese.

The coroner said he suspects the fall happened late Friday night or early Saturday morning, but authorities said they are still trying to determine why King was in the area at that time and what caused him to fall.

King, 18, of Gilbertsville, Montgomery County, graduated from Boyertown Area Senior High School in June.

Dana Bedden, the district's superintendent, released the following statement Monday afternoon:

"The Boyertown School Board, administration, and staff extend our sincerest sympathies to the family during this time of tragedy. We are deeply saddened to hear this terrible news and offer our condolences and support to all who knew and cared for Justin."

WFMZ's Julia Rose spoke to family and friends of King, who remembered him for his outgoing, upbeat personality.

"He was just doing great things. He was making friends, he had places to go. I was really proud of him," said Drew King, Justin's older brother.

"He was my first boyfriend and I always thought he was going to be my last," said Savanna Scholz.

Scholz said she's feeling the same shock and devastation as Drew and the rest of Justin's circle.

"On the darkest of days, he put a sunshine there," Scholz said.

"He'd always laugh and joke around, and it's so sad to see such a caring soul go," said Justin's friend, Zakary Reck.

Justin was a talented athlete, and baseball was both his and Drew's passion.

"We hope to spread some of his ashes behind home plate on the field we played at since we were kids," Drew King said.

His family and friends said Justin's legacy will live on, but there will forever be a hole in their hearts.

"You were the best person that I knew and will ever know," Scholz said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money to help pay for Justin's funeral expenses.