A teenager on her way to school was killed in a crash in Rostraver Township.
The crash happened about 9:30 a.m. on Salem Church Road near Moore Road.
Police identified the victim as 16-year-old Leah Smith. Her mother told Channel 11’s Gordon Loesch her middle name was Joy, and she brought joy to everyone around her.
Smith, who would’ve turned 17 tomorrow, lost control around a curve in the road just a half mile from her home. She crashed into a tree. Her family and friends believe weather and icy roads contributed to the crash, but Rostraver police say they’ve found no evidence of that.
“At this point in time, it does not appear road conditions were a factor,” said Chief Greg Resetar. “The roads were dry in the area of the crash.”
She was on her way to Belle Vernon High School, which was on a 2-hour delay. Smith had classes at the Career Center, where she was studying cosmetology.
Smith’s mother said she is leaning heavily on her faith to get her through this incredibly difficult loss. As her daughter walked out the door this morning, she told her what she would always say to her, “Remember, you’re deeply loved, highly favored and greatly blessed.”
Grief counselors were brought in for students.
The district also released a statement that reads:
"With a heavy heart, the Belle Vernon Area School District has lost one of our high school students in a fatal accident this morning, Dec. 15. Please be assured that the Administration met immediately in order to offer support to our students, teachers and faculty in the buildings. Students will continue to be supported through the end of the week and thereafter as needed through our guidance offices located in each building. As always, students are our top priority. Please keep the family in your hearts at this time."