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Two Teens Killed in Saturday Morning Crash

High speed, alcohol suspected causes of collision.

Two Horsham area teens were killed in a 1:19 a.m. car crash Saturday and three others sustained "relatively minor injuries," Horsham police said. 

Robert Walker Nagel, 19, of Ambler, and Edward Taylor Coombs, 19, of Horsham, were found dead at scene of the crash, which occurred near the intersection of Witmer and Norristown Roads in Horsham.

Nagel and Coombs were passengers in a 2007 Honda Accord driven by Connor James McNicholas, 19, of Ambler. McNicholas and the other passengers, Darryl Neville, Jr., 18, of Darby, and Timothy Kurpiel, 19, of Horsham, were transported to Abington Memorial Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. 

According to a press release issued by the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, one of the occupants said the car's speedometer read 99 MPH seconds before the crash. Police also learned that the teens had just left a party where they were drinking beer and/or mixed drinks.

Horsham Police Lt. Jon Clark said a joint investigation with the DA's office is ongoing. Any charges stemming from the crash would be filed by the DA's office, Clark said. 

Interviews and autopsy are being conducted at this time. The investigation will continue with laboratory analysis of the driver's blood and crash reconstruction.

McNicholas was said to be traveling westbound on Witmer Road, when his car traveled off the roadway and struck a curb. The car then crossed over Wade Avenue and entered a property located at 600 Wade Avenue.

"They traveled across a yard before hitting a tree," Clark said. 

Authorities said several trees were struck before the vehicle finally came to a stop. Preliminary analysis shows that McNicholas’ car traveled approximately 405 feet, from the initial point of losing control in the bend in the road to where it came to rest. 

"High speed is definitely suspected," Clark said. "We're looking into alcohol."

It is not clear if the kids were wearing seatbelts, Clark said, adding that the vehicle was totaled and has been impounded for further investigation. 

Anyone with any information pertinent to the investigation is asked to contact  at 215-643-8284 or the Montgomery County Detectives. 

Tara August 08, 2011 at 10:40 AM
Was alcohol confirmed? Was it an adult that supplied it? I can't imagine that if the driver was inebriated he would get off, for being traumatized.
Craig Peters August 08, 2011 at 12:33 PM
@Shaleeta: You write that "I am extremely furious at the parents that allowed those children to drink at their homes and then let them drive." @Ellsworth: you write "They should definitiely go after the adults who provided the alcohol at the party" Unless you have information that hasn't been reported in the press, I would suggest that this sort of speculation about the specific circumstances surrounding what happened is inappropriate.
Ellsworth Schmecky August 08, 2011 at 12:45 PM
CraigPeters: You only referred to half of my comment... you did not include the end half, which stated ", if that ends up being the case." Try reading correctly first.
Ellsworth Schmecky August 08, 2011 at 12:48 PM
And HOW will most of their friends react to the tragedy? Rather than work for an organization like MADD, or within their school/peers to try and head off underage drinking, drinking & driving, and social peer pressure, they'll leave their sappy notes & hearts & signs & teddy bears at the foot of yet another street sign or tree trunk, and then go out and buy replacements for the NEXT occurrence.........
Craig Peters August 08, 2011 at 12:52 PM
I'm reading correctly, thank you. I could have included your entire comment, and my point still stands: Speculation about the specific circumstances surrounding what happened or didn't happen is inappropriate -- and, not incidentally, disrespectful.
Ellsworth Schmecky August 08, 2011 at 01:37 PM
Craig Peters: So you READ it correctly... you just CHOSE to mis-quote it to make your point. The preliminary report stated that they had "just left a party where THEY were drinking beer and/or mixed drinks." Note the article did not state they had just left a party where beer and/or mixed drinks had been served... it stated that THEY (the teenagers in question) had been drinking. In addition, as they were 19 years old, some "adult" (over 21) must have bought said alcohol & provided/served it to them. I said "adults", and didn't even jump to any conclusion that it was "parents". So where have I leapt to conclusions? And how am I being disrespectful? I'm not the idiot who got into a "loaded gun" and "pulled the trigger". How about calling what these youngsters did "disrespectful"? They chose to drive at 99 mph into a residential neighborhood. Only by the grace of God did they not take any innocent bystanders' lives or crash into anyone's home....... I'm sorry... as a parent myself, I feel for their parents' losses and grief. But only when we stop with the "victim" euphemisms and call it like it is do we have even a glimmer of a chance of bringing stupid acts like these to an end. Until then, it'll just be more bears & flowers & grief counselors at one school after another......
Bob August 08, 2011 at 07:18 PM
I hope that the Horsham police won't use this possible crime/accident/homicide to lower the speed limit from 35 to 25 on the entire Witmer Road. The part of Witmer road that this "accident" occurred in was 25mph.
Bob August 08, 2011 at 07:25 PM
The driver will need $100,000.00 bail money. $50,000 for a good lawyer. The owners of the party house will be sued for $2,000,000.00 from families of the deceased. Their home owners insurance won't cover it.
Ellsworth Schmecky August 08, 2011 at 11:59 PM
I only wish I wasn't "right"........... I just don't know what it'll take before some sense finally sinks in to some people, young and old.......
horsham2007 August 09, 2011 at 03:17 AM
for the record, the BAC of the driver was just released as being 0. So I hope all of you who jumped to such awful conclusions may now retract your statements and recognize this tragedy as the awful accident it was. Instead of arguing we should be coming together as a community to support the families and friends of these boys.
Ellsworth Schmecky August 09, 2011 at 05:22 AM
I already stated that, as a parent, I feel terrible for the parents, families & friends of those killed. However, the BAC results only serve to change the "accident" from one where the driver's senses were muddled by alcohol to one where they seem to have been muddled by stupidity. What intelligent person would think it's safe & manageable to drive a car in a residential area at 99 mph, and would risk the lives of passengers/friends in the process?!
Linda August 09, 2011 at 11:57 AM
Would someone have the BAC release link or anymore information concerning this accident? Thank you
Shaleeta Wright August 09, 2011 at 01:11 PM
@Craig - I can be furious if i want. Speculation or not. So be it. These are my words, these kids are gone. And that is how i feel. You wont' change anything.
Craig Peters August 09, 2011 at 02:43 PM
In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Nagel family can be made to an account held at TD Bank. Contributions can be made in person at any TD branch or by mail to TD Bank, 929 Horsham Rd, Horsham, PA. 19044. The account is the “Robert Nagel Memorial Fund”.
Craig Peters August 09, 2011 at 03:25 PM
In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Coombs family can be made to an account held at TD Bank. Contributions can be made in person at any TD branch or by mail to TD Bank, 929 Horsham Rd, Horsham, PA. 19044. The account is the "Edward Coombs Memorial Fund".
Bob August 09, 2011 at 03:30 PM
Didn't the driver of the car have any insurance coverage? He should have enough to cover funeral expenses of the two men he killed.
LansdaleWatch August 09, 2011 at 06:37 PM
You drink you drive You Lose - I am so glad they didn't kill anyone else - They are the ones that decided to drink and drive - I just hope all that were hurt get better.I hope the police go after the parents for letting this happen in their house.
Craig Peters August 09, 2011 at 07:55 PM
@LansdaleWatch: As someone above noted, the blood alcohol content of the driver was apparently zero, so if alcohol was not a factor, then there's nothing for the police to "go after the parents" for. It would be nice to see readers here and over on PhillyBurbs avoid placing guilt and blame before all the facts are known.
Theresa Katalinas (Editor) August 09, 2011 at 08:47 PM
Hi Craig, I checked with the DA's office today regarding the BAC and was told that the results are not yet in.
Tara August 09, 2011 at 08:50 PM
Did I miss something? I thought they had stated they had not been drinking!?
Linda August 09, 2011 at 09:01 PM
Thanks so much Theresa for your post! I have been following this sad story since it happened, and have not found anything on the release of the BAC. (Yet) Maybe Horsham2007 can provide a link to where it was read?
Beth Barreto August 10, 2011 at 12:47 AM
Thats what I was thinking are they going to make Whitmer 25 miles an hour now like they did on Herman. Its not fair to everyone else.I feel bad for the familys. I just dont know why anyone has to drive down any street 100 miles an hour. I just hope other kids learn from this but they probably wont , next year I will read that some kids got into a car and did a 100 miles an hour, the driver always walks away and his passengers or not so lucky.
Rachael August 11, 2011 at 05:50 AM
Praying for everyone affected by this horrific tragedy <3
horsham2007 August 11, 2011 at 01:52 PM
The BAC results I quoted were from preliminary toxicology reports and were told to me by someone involved with the case. The DA does not have to release such results until they are absolutely final AKA not preliminary. But that does not make them any less valid and I am sorry that i cannot give you something more concrete. My point in posting is to take the focus off of those of you who have decided to only criticize instead of recognize the tragedy. Honestly, everyone just needs to back off and wait for the county and state to do its job.
Suzanne Weiss August 11, 2011 at 03:42 PM
This is a tragedy all the way around. I feel for all of the families and individuals involved. Without a doubt and regardless of the cause, this is a life altering event for all involved. I'd like to see us all focus on preventing this from happening again anywhere. 5 teenagers in a car is a recipe for potential disaster. We need a much better graduated driver's license program. Even if you take alcohol and speed out of the equation (I'm not saying that it was a factor here), there is plenty of data to suggest that having even one extra person in the car, especially with teen boys, increases dramatically the potential for an accident. I'd love to see Patch follow up on the proposals for a better graduated driver's license in PA. As for changing the speed limit on Witmer as a result of this accident, that seems like a poor response - it appears the car was exceeding the speed limit. A lower speed limit would not have prevented this accident in any way.
Mark August 12, 2011 at 01:44 AM
Mark 6:47pm on Thursday, August 11, 2011 I think that TV shows, movies and MOSTLY video games--which feature reckless driving on public streets--are contributing factors in this tradegy. Has anyone else driven at night on I-95 (in Philly) lately and been passed by a pack of cars, weaving through traffic at 90+ mph?
HHSMom2011 August 16, 2011 at 10:23 AM
It is truly sad, as I really don't think most won't learn from this tragedy. For example, this past Friday I was in the funeral traffic @ the intersection coming from MMR & Horsham Rd. I was going straight towards 309 & most were turning left to head to cemetary. A small 2dr car full of 4 teens decided to floor it to get through the turning arrow that already turned red & made the turn, crossing into the outer lane in which a car was already in that lane & almost damn near hit it! Just because of the increased speed and turn they were trying to make. The kids stand there & mourn a great loss, but are they truly going to take it to heart, unfortunately not. They will still drive wreckless & may even drink. One thing I do not understand & perhaps someone can clairfy for me, please. Why would various news reports (not just the patch) report "they had been drinking at a party they recently left" if that information was not accurate or if one of the teens involved did not admit it? Sure, it is possible that his BAC is zero, but that would mean zero drinks then. Now we all know peer pressure and having fun, if with a group of friends all drinking, even one 12 oz beer would affect the BAC automatically, it would not be zero anymore no matter what a male weighs. When are the BAC results due in as it has been weeks now? Also, why wouldn't he be charged even if @ zero? wasn't he still driving at excessive speeds and wreckless driving that killed those 2 young, vibrant lives.
Theresa Katalinas (Editor) August 16, 2011 at 11:47 AM
Hi, I can help clarify some of this. The information about the teens allegedly drinking at a party came from the DA's office. Even at the outset before the DA released names and specifics about the crash, Horsham Police said they believed alcohol may have been a factor. I am in constant contact with the DA's office and the crash is still being investigated. The DA needs results of toxicology reports, as well as crash reconstruction before charges could be made - if they are made. Whether or not charges would be brought is up to the DA. Someone reported on this site that the driver's BAC was reportedly zero. I checked with the DA on that and was told that results at that time had not been finalized. I am not sure who is putting out the misinformation or why they are doing it. But, I have been told that it was just that: misinformation. Hope this helps to answer some of your questions.
LansdaleWatch August 17, 2011 at 02:15 PM
HORSHAM, Pa. - August 17, 2011 (WPVI) -- A 19-year-old will be charged for his role in a high-speed crash in Montgomery County that left two other teens dead. Action News has learned that Connor McNicholas, of Ambler, will be charged with homicide on Wednesday. http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=8311215
Eve August 17, 2011 at 09:26 PM
Drunk as expected.

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