A parent's worst nightmare
"There’s been an accident."
And now two Delco families are dealing with the consequences. So is this newspaper.
Two lives – one really just beginning, one a beloved grandfather – have been snuffed out much too soon. Two families are left to mourn and pick up the pieces.
This time it was in Springfield, on a stretch of Rolling Road where residents have long complained that cars simply go too fast.
What’s known is this: Just before 1 a.m. Sunday morning, a car driven by 18-year-old James Blair Heron collided with one driven by Jim Eden, 66, on the 200 block of North Rolling Road.
Both were alone in their cars. Neither survived.
Some early reports from police suggested they were looking at drag racing as a possible cause for the crash.
It turns out that was not the case. Police now believe that there was another car involved, but that they weren’t drag racing.
Police do now believe that Heron was traveling in the wrong lane when his 2004 Ford Mustang Cobra slammed into the Toyota Avalon driven by Eden. Heron died at the scene. Eden was transported to Crozer-Chester Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Police believe Heron actually had pulled out to pass the other car when he collided with the car driven by Eden at the crest of a hill.
Police got this information from the kids in that other car, who came to the police station on Saturday to offer their version of what happened.
The story this newspaper carried on Sunday dealt in large part with the friends and family of Heron. They had gathered at the scene during the day on Saturday.
We were not trying to slight Eden, or lessen what apparently transpired on Rolling Road.
On Sunday we went back out to the scene and talked to Eden’s family members, who likewise were holding a vigil at the scene.
Ironically, on the very same day, we learned of the death of Eddie Lancaster.
What do they have in common? Kids and cars.
It’s a volatile, dangerous concoction.
Five years ago, Lancaster was left a paraplegic in an accident that took the life of one Penncrest High School classmate and injured several others. He succumbed to his injuries last week.
Now two more families are reeling in the aftermath of another car crash.
And every night I thank God I have never had to deal with that terrible phone call.
As a newspaper editor, I can’t avoid the fallout from such incidents.
It’s a part of my job that I could do without.
If I never had to report another such incident, it wouldn’t bother me a bit.
But I know that’s not likely going to happen. More likely, it’s a matter of when, not if.