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Teen dies in crash near Ligonier

A 17-year-old Ligonier boy was killed early this morning when his Mitsubishi Eclipse crashed into a tree and split into two parts along state Route 711 near Horseshoe Bend Road in Cook Township, state police at Greensburg said.

Jonathan R. Kristiansen of West Vincent Street died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and neck, according to the Westmoreland County Coroner's office. Kristiansen was ejected from his vehicle and pronounced dead at 5:45 a.m. at the scene of the crash, about two miles south of Ligonier.

Kristiansen was the lone occupant of the southbound vehicle when it went off the west berm, slid across both lanes of traffic and hit a cement culvert at about 4 a.m., police said. The car continued south and its right front end hit a tree, police said.

The engine compartment was torn off and the transmission was found on the opposite side of the road, said Chestnut Ridge Fire Chief Don Prinkey, who was at the scene.

The victim, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown about 60 feet from the tree, Prinkey said.• It took police and emergency responders about 3 hours to clear the scene, Prinkey said.

The coroner said that the speed of the vehicle is believed to have been a factor in the crash. The results of toxicology tests will not be available for several weeks, police said.

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