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Export girl, 12, killed in car crash wasn't wearing seat belt

The 12-year-old girl killed in a car crash in Murrysville was a sixth-grader who "brought an incredible amount of joy to everyone," her sister said yesterday.

Holly Alm of Export was a front-seat passenger in a 1998 Chevrolet Blazer driven by her mother, Diane Alm, 48. The woman told Murrysville police that the SUV's brakes failed as she was traveling north on Harrison City Road, just south of Route 22, about 5 p.m. Saturday. Police said she swerved onto a grassy area to avoid Route 22 traffic but struck a utility pole, and the SUV rolled onto its roof.

Holly, who had not been wearing a seat belt, was partially ejected from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner Joshua Zappone.

The cause of death was listed as head injuries.

Diane Alm was not injured.

Holly's sister, Jamie Alm, 19, said the sixth-grader was on the swim team at Franklin Regional Middle School.

"She loved school," Jamie Alm said. "She was the happiest girl I know. Everybody loved her."

Jamie Alm said her sister was the baby of the family, the youngest of three girls.

"She kept us young and active," Jamie Alm said. "She was always bright and shining, never negative. She was loved, and she loved her family.

"It's just a shock."

Jamie Alm said her sister also loved animals, especially the family's two dogs. For that reason, the family asks that memorials be in the form of donations to Animal Friends in Murrysville.

Trenz Funeral Home of Penn Hills is in charge of funeral arrangements.

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