Police say drivers in fatal Washington County crash not belted in
The baby girl's face lit up when her father walked into the room, as if on cue, during a family gathering this week in Washington County.
“I'd just said to his wife, ‘Is Addison mommy's girl or daddy's girl?' ” said Vickie Breese, recalling the conversation on Monday with her nephew's wife, Katherine, about their daughter born in April. “She said, ‘I don't know. But she lights up when he comes in the room.'
“Just then, Steve walked in, and she lit up. That's something I will always think about.”
Stephen Breese, 28, of Washington died on Christmas night when a Jeep driven by Shari L. Cox, 46, of Prosperity crossed the center line on Route 18 in Morris about 6:30 p.m. and slammed head-on into the GMC sport utility vehicle he was driving with his family inside.
Cox died at the scene. Breese died in Washington Hospital, Coroner Timothy Warco said.
Neither was wearing a seat belt, state police said on Thursday.
Investigators were awaiting results of a blood test on Cox to help determine what caused the collision.
Paramedics flew Katherine Breese, 30, and the couple's daughter to UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland and to Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville. Katherine Breese was wearing a seat belt, police said, and the girl was in a child safety seat.
Addison Rae was doing fine, though her mother has broken ribs, a concussion and other injuries, said Stephen Breese's uncle, Jeffrey Breese, 56, of Claysville.
The family was on their way to visit Stephen Breese's father, Keith, at his home in Prosperity.
One of Stephen Breese's brothers arrived at the crash scene but was rerouted without seeing the vehicles, Jeffrey Breese said.
“He had no idea until later,” Breese said.
Stephen Breese graduated in 2003 from McGuffey High School, where he played football and wrestled on a team coached by his uncle, an assistant wrestling coach at Washington & Jefferson College.
“He was just a great kid,” Jeffrey Breese said. “But we are going to say that no matter what. He really was, though.”
Stephen Breese worked for R.G. Johnson Co., a Washington-based construction company that works on mining projects. He had been pouring concrete at Consol Energy's Bailey Mine on a recent assignment.
“We were just talking about it Monday night,” Jeffrey Breese said, noting the family gathering at his mother's house in Claysville.
The family's loss was sinking in on Thursday.
“It will get worse the more you think about it,” Jeffrey Breese said, his voice cracking.
Jason Cato is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7936 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Tarentum restaurant closes to repair brick damage
- Thousands attend Vandergrift Light-Up Night, Christmas parade
- In Steelers-Saints game, all eyes on Brown-Lewis matchup
- Mirai debut brings fuel cell future closer
- Hempfield Area High School senior Richason creates Before I Die wall in Greensburg
- Trib real estate writer Spatter ‘worked right to the end’
- Artists fill Valley home for one-day ‘Handmade Christmas’ sale
- Salvation Army in W.Pa. uses social media campaign
- Steelers notebook: Defense has a retro feel
- Sloppy Penguins fall to Hurricanes
- Bridge over Youghiogheny River coming into downtown Connellsville is renamed