Three Cambria Heights High School students injured in a Saturday morning crash that claimed two lives remain hospitalized at Altoona Regional Health System, Altoona Hospital Campus.
"They're improving, but will still be in for several more days," Superintendent Michael Strasser said.
Two other students were treated at Miners Hospital in Hastings following the 2:20 a.m. Saturday crash on Route 36 just south of St. Augustine Road in Clearfield Township, just north of Ashville.
The five students - three boys and two girls - were traveling north in a vehicle driven by a 17-year-old Patton boy and were returning from a midnight bowl at Holiday Bowl in Altoona when the front of their car struck the passenger side of a southbound vehicle driven by Lucas R. Bakale, 29, Dysart, which had gone out of control while negotiating a right curve and crossed into their path.
Bakale and his passenger, Devin Dickert, 27, Chest Springs, were pronounced dead at the scene of multiple traumatic injuries, said Cambria County Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski.
The coroner said Bakale's blood alcohol content was 0.330 percent - more than four times the state's legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Dickert's father, Joseph Turek of Patton, said he did not know Bakale.
"They were friends, but I had never met him. We were shocked. He (Dickert) was a wonderful kid and full of life. A great, wonderful, happy person. I am upset with the whole situation," Turek said.
Turek said he was told his son was not drinking.
"He had given up drinking for Lent. I am looking for some answers myself," Turek said.
Strasser admitted the crash could have been even more tragic.
"We're very happy that our kids all were wearing their seatbelts. Otherwise it could have been much worse," Strasser said. "The medical staff at Altoona Regional commended the kids for their responsibility in buckling up."
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.