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Pine Grove school copes with boy's death in start of new year

By Kimberly Davidow, Reporter
Published On: Jan 30 2013 12:05:44 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 03 2013 04:34:01 AM CST

Family, friends and teachers in Schuylkill County are all feeling pain as they mourn the loss of a 10-year-old boy who lost his life on New Year's Eve.

PINE GROVE TWP., Pa. -

Family, friends and teachers in Schuylkill County are all feeling pain as they mourn the loss of a 10-year-old boy who lost his life on New Year's Eve.

A small memorial on the side of Route 443 in Pine Grove Township honors the brief life of Chase Pahula, who was struck by an SUV and killed while walking along the road with his older brother Monday night.

Pahula was a student in the Pine Grove Area School District.

"It's a very painful situation to have to go through," said Brian Uplinger, superintendent. "This particular spot of 443, it's a dangerous area. There are a lot of turns, a lot of dips, kills, blind spots. It's not a great place to walk. There's not really an opportunity for anyone else, for people to walk."

Pahula attended the Schuylkill County Intermediate Unit #29 School. Counselors are available throughout the district for students coping with Pahula's death, Uplinger said.

Pahula is not the first student in the district to pass away recently. In March 2011, Brynen Bell, 16, was killed in a crash on Hickory Road in Washington Twp., Schuylkill Co., when the driver lost control on a sharp curve.

"It's just a bad section of road," said Uplinger.

The current speed limit on Route 443, where Pahula was killed, is 55 miles per hour. The driver of the SUV did not see the two brothers walking, state police said.

One resident said he wants the speed limit reduced. However, Uplinger said he is not sure if that is the solution to end the gut-wrenching fatalities.

"I don't know if reducing it will make much more of an impact on anything that's taking place right now," said Uplinger.