PITTSBURGH — Charges have been filed against two men for their involvement in a fatal crash with a school van. The incident occurred on a public highway in western Pennsylvania, where the men are accused of engaging in a high-speed race that claimed the life of a teenage girl.
The impact also led to three additional minors and two critically injured adults, including one of the defendants, being rushed to hospitals.
Allegheny County police reported that on September 20 in Dravosburg, a northbound sedan collided with a Serra Catholic High School van attempting to make a left turn.
The medical examiner’s office confirmed that 15-year-old Samantha Lee Kalkbrenner died at the scene.
Authorities reported that three out of the four students in the van, including Kalkbrenner, were ejected from the vehicle, and the van driver also sustained serious injuries.
Authorities have charged William Soliday II, 43, from Irwin, whose car struck the van, with criminal homicide, vehicular homicide, and numerous counts of aggravated assault and reckless endangering.
Andrew Voigt, 37, of Pittsburgh, whose vehicle entered the intersection moments after the crash, is charged with accidents involving death or injury and reckless endangering, authorities said.
Both individuals, employed at a nearby location, are facing charges of racing on highways.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala stated that authorities suspect the two drivers were engaged in a race, turning their vehicles “into deadly weapons.”
Investigators stated that the first car is believed to have been traveling at speeds exceeding 100 mph just before the crash, with the second vehicle following approximately two seconds behind.
Casey White, Soliday’s attorney, informed reporters that his client suffered head trauma and has no memory of the crash or even leaving home that day.
He stated that the crash was an accident, emphasizing there was no malicious intent on his client’s part. He added that “words can’t describe the remorse he has, his family has.”
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