Share This Page

Teens killed in Greene County crash 'huffing,' state police say

| Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, 3:34 p.m.

Three teenagers who died when their sport utility vehicle crossed the median along Interstate 79 in Greene County and hit a motorcycle were “huffing” — inhaling chemicals from an aerosol can to get high — according to state police.

The driver of the motorcycle also was killed in the crash on Oct. 3.

The driver of the SUV, Cullin Frazer of Waynesburg, and passengers Benjamin Hardy of Waynesburg and Byron Kerr of Carmichaels — who were all 18 — had the substance difluoroethane in their systems from inhaling the contents of a can of compressed air cleaner they purchased, state police said Monday.

The colorless gas can produce effects similar to alcohol intoxication and when inhaled in higher concentration can be fatal, according to police.

An autopsy determined that the teens died of multiple blunt force trauma, police said.

The driver of the motorcycle, Michael Cohen, 47, of Oshawa, Canada, was killed. His passenger, Sandra Cohen, 48, of Oshawa, suffered moderate injuries.

Three other teens from Waynesburg who were passengers in the SUV were hospitalized. Thomas Miller, 16, had a broken collarbone. Justin Gillogly, 16, and Joseph Lilly, 18, suffered minor injuries.

The crash occurred shortly after 4:30 p.m. near the Ruff Creek exit when the SUV traveled over the hilly median from northbound I-79 to the southbound lane, and glanced off a camper before landing on its roof and striking the motorcycle.

Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or tlarussa@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.