Charges filed in fatal crash

An Altoona teenager faces homicide by vehicle, manslaughter and other charges stemming from a July wreck on Kettle Road that left an 18-year-old man dead.

Susan M. Schezzini, 18, of 1908 Seventh Ave. appeared Tuesday in Tyrone District Court for arraignment on charges filed by state police that she was speeding and driving recklessly when she lost control of a 1998 Nissan Altima in Tyrone Township on July 8.

About 7:40 p.m., Schezzini lost control of the car she was driving southbound on Kettle Road as it crested a hill, according to state police. An oncoming Chevrolet Impala, driven by Kaylee D. Harper, 26, of Tyrone collided with Schezzini’s car as the Altima slid into the opposite lane. The impact rolled both vehicles.

Jordan D. Dodson, 18, of Altoona, a backseat passenger in Schezzini’s car, was killed. Two other passengers in her vehicle – Emily Ann Kissell, 18, of Bellwood and Sarah E. Sweeney, 21, of Altoona – were hurt in the crash.

Harper suffered a foot injury, police said, but her two sons, 2 years old and 2 weeks old, strapped in car seats, were uninjured.

Court records note Schezzini was sitting along the road when state police arrived. The Altima was overturned in a debris-strewn soybean field. Harper’s Impala was upside down on the berm, perpendicular to the road.

In the charges filed against Schezzini, police didn’t specify how fast she was allegedly driving when she crashed. At the scene, Schezzini allegedly told Trooper David Weimer, “I was the driver. I was going too fast and crashed.”

Police said weather

wasn’t a factor in the crash and that it was still daylight.

Schezzini remains free on an unsecured $75,000 bond. She is charged with felony homicide by vehicle and aggravated assault by vehicle, a misdemeanor count of manslaughter and numerous traffic violations that include speeding, careless driving and reckless driving.

Police have charged Kissell with possession of a small amount of marijuana after she allegedly told police a bag of pot found at the crash scene was hers and that she had smoked it with Schezzini, Dodson and Sweeney about 3 p.m. the day of the crash. Kissell was charged in August via summons and is due for a preliminary hearing Dec. 10 in Tyrone.

A call to Schezzini’s attorney, Gerald Nelson, was not returned.