New Ken man dead in wreck involving Highlands school bus
A New Kensington man died on Friday morning in a collision between his car and a Highlands School District bus on Route 366 in the city.
The victim was Edward M. Nee, III, 37, of Aluminum City Terrace. The crash occurred near Marlborough Drive.
Nee was alone in his car, driving toward Tarentum to go to work, authorities said.
Police Chief Tom Klawinski said Nee's car crossed the center line and collided with the bus, which was heading in the opposite direction, just after 10 a.m.
A driver and about 20 students were aboard the bus, which was on its way to the Forbes Road Career and Technology Center in Monroeville. Some were injured.
A Westmoreland County deputy coroner said road conditions apparently contributed to the crash. The accident site is at a bend in the road that had some ice and slush cover on it.
Police, however, said they still are investigating and a preliminary cause wasn't known on Friday.
State police and city accident reconstruction specialists spent more than three hours taking measurements and photographing the crash site.The deputy coroner said Nee was wearing a seat belt and the car's airbags deployed.
Toxicology tests were ordered by that office, but an autopsy won't be done.
Nee was working in Merritt Island, Fla., until about a year ago, when he returned to New Kensington to help his ailing parents, his Facebook site and friends said.His mother, Judith E. Nee, died in July after a lengthy illness, his boss and friend Keith Abraham said.
Abraham said Nee's father is in a nursing home.
Students, driver treated
Some of the students were treated at a hospital, including a 16-year-old Natrona Heights girl who suffered a concussion, her mother said. She said several others were being treated at 3 p.m., when the girl was released from Allegheny Valley Hospital.
Other students were treated at the school by a nurse, said Highlands School District spokeswoman Misty Chybrzynski.
Bus driver Collette Hicks was taken to Allegheny Valley Hospital, Harrison, where she was treated and then released, officials said.
Chybrzynski said the bus was one of two heading to the vo-tech center. Chybrzynski said the bus is operated by W.L. Roenigk Inc. and the company will do routine drug and alcohol tests on the driver.
Route 366 remained closed between Leechburg and Freeport roads and the Route 56 cloverleaf for about four hours.
It reopened after a city plow truck removed snow, slush and ice from the roadway.
Nee was employed by Kevin Abraham and son, Jared, who own the Dairy Queen at 2100 Freeport Road, New Kensington.
Abraham said Nee was a friend of his son for 14 years.
“We opened June 9 and he has worked for us since day one. It worked for all of us. He needed a job to help his parents and we needed the help,” Abraham said, adding that Nee was on his way to work on Friday morning when the accident happened.
“He would normally get in at 10:30, but we had some work to do at 10 a.m. My son got to work first and he told me, ‘Eddie isn't here yet.' And I said, ‘There was a serious accident on the bypass. I hope he wasn't in it' ” Abraham said.“He was a really nice guy. He was a friend to everybody. We employ a lot of high school students and he'd go to their games. He was like that.”
According to the coroner's office, the Rusiewicz Funeral Home of Lower Burrell is in charge of Nee's funeral arrangements.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.