BARBOURS - A 17-year-old Montoursville Area High School student was killed Saturday afternoon when he lost control of a Chevy Blazer that crashed on Route 87, about mile north of here, in Plunketts Creek Township, state police said.
"He got going too fast around a bend and lost it," Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling said in explaining that the speed of the SUV was a contributing factor in a crash that claimed the life of Samuel B. Snell, who lived with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Snell, at 7314 Route 87.
It is believed that Snell, traveling south on Route 87, was heading home after spending time at a cabin owned by his grandparents in Sullivan County when he failed to negotiate a curve about 1 p.m., state police said.
The SUV first struck a retaining wall to a private driveway and then went airborne, police said.
Shattered parts of the retaining wall covered much of the driveway's entrance.
Kiessling said the vehicle apparently spun around, resulting in the driver's side hitting a tree about 10 to 12 feet above the ground.
After striking the tree, the car overturned, landing on its roof down a 15-foot embankment, police said.
Kiessling said the teen died instantly in the crash.
As state Trooper Johnathan Buynak, the lead investigator of the crash, and Cpl. Robert Brown took photos and measurements at the crash scene, volunteer fire police were able to keep one lane open for traffic.
Kiessling said Snell died of "massive head injuries."
Township volunteer firefighters were assisted at the scene by Montoursville firefighters.