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'Wonderful' Lower Burrell woman killed in Tennessee church mission crash

| Wednesday, July 18, 2012, 2:06 p.m.
Erin Jedlowski

A 23-year-old Lower Burrell woman died this week of injuries she suffered in a vehicle accident in Tennessee on July 1 while on a church mission.

Erin Jedlowski died on Sunday from injuries she suffered when she was thrown from a vehicle in the accident on Interstate 81 near Jefferson City, Tenn.

A 2007 graduate of Burrell High School, Jedlowski was director of missions and youth for the First United Methodist Church in Waynesburg.

She was traveling with church Pastor Gary Grau, an-other adult and four youths to Slidell, La. to take part in the Epworth Summer Project, which is dedicated to helping rebuild the greater New Orleans area affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Shortly before 5 a.m., the van may have struck something lying on the road, causing the front and rear passenger side tires to blow nearly simultaneously, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. The van rolled over three times, police said.

Jedlowski was hospitalized in Jefferson County, Tenn.

Everyone else suffered "bumps and bruises" and came home on Monday, said Linda Rieder, administrative assistant at First United Methodist Church.

"She was loved by everyone here," Rieder said. "She was just a great, wonderful young lady."

Jedlowski had been missions and youth director for one year, said Grau.

"It was a new position for us so she was a pioneer for us," he said. "Erin did a lot for us and grew close to us rather quickly. I'm going to miss her."

Jedlowski is survived by her parents Darryl and Kim Todt Jedlowski, of Lower Burrell; and sister, Kristin O'Connor, of Monroeville.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Scholarship for Mission Trips c/o Waynesburg United Methodist Church, 112 North Richhill St., Waynesburg, PA 15370 or Bethel Campership c/o Bethel United Methodist Church, 150 Alder St., Lower Burrell, PA 15068.

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