Neighborhood plans vigil for McCandless boy killed in zipline accident



MCCANDLESS, Pa. - A local neighborhood grieving the loss of a 13-year-old boy is planning to line their streets with luminaries in honor of the young boy.

Rex Smith died Tuesday at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh after suffering a head injury on a neighbor’s homemade zipline.

According to McCandless police, the accident happened at a neighbor’s house on Ben Franklin Drive on Sunday.

Investigators said Smith slammed into a tree and the makeshift handle struck him in the back of the head.

Kevin Driscoll, a friend of the family, was at the Smith home while doctors completed an organ harvest surgery and his parents said goodbye.

“It was too bad of a brain injury,” Driscoll said softly. “His organs are going to be donated to help other kids stay alive.”

Rex’s father, Rex Smith Sr., said his neighbors along Ben Franklin Drive, Bond Street, Poor Richards Lane and other surrounding roads will be setting up luminaries throughout the area.

“Rex was a good kid, big into Boy Scouts. He played hockey and soccer in the past,” Driscoll said. “He was just a good, all-around kid.”

Rex spent a lot of time at St. John Neumann Church in Ingomar where he was an altar boy.

Fr. Al McGuinnes said Rex has left a lasting impact of many people.

“I enjoyed being around him. He always had a smile on his face,” McGuinnes said. “It breaks our heart to have to go through this with (his family).”

Visitations for Rex are scheduled for Friday and the funeral is Saturday.