Alcohol likely played a role in a deadly crash that resulted in one of the most gruesome accidents a 16-year police officer said he had ever seen.
Two partially filled bottles of whiskey were found in the silver-colored Mazda Tribute after the crash that killed driver Heather Mozley, 29, and her passenger, Zachary Reed, 22, early Sunday morning along Sixth Avenue in Altoona.
Altoona police Sgt. Dan DeAntonio said the circumstances of the wreck - that it occurred on a straight stretch at high rate of speed at 1:30 a.m. with containers of alcohol inside - suggest alcohol was a key factor. Blood-alcohol-content testing results are expected in about a week.
"We'll know conclusively once we get the BAC," DeAntonio said.
He described the crash scene as gruesome.
"Unfortunately, two people had to lose their lives," DeAntonio said, adding that such wrecks illustrate all too well the dangers of drinking and driving.
According to Altoona police, Mozley and Reed, both of Altoona, were not wearing seat belts and were ejected from the SUV after it left the roadway at a high rate of speed at 1:32 a.m.
Mozley's SUV was traveling at twice the 30-mph speed limit, at least, when it left the road, straddled the sidewalk and street before striking a parked vehicle, police said.
After knocking the parked vehicle 23 feet down the street, Mozley's SUV continued down the block.
It ultimately sheared off a street sign, a small tree and hit a home's front stoop before it flipped onto its roof and slid into a utility pole.
The SUV's driver's side window had been broken out in a previous incident so when the vehicle began to flip, Mozley was partially ejected and crushed, police said.
Reed was thrown from the vehicle and killed after the SUV hit a utility pole at 12th Street.
DeAntonio said police were looking into the circumstances leading up to the wreck and asked that anyone with information about Mozley's and Reed's activities that night to contact police.