Fast and Furious: Men Accused of Racing Face Consequences After Fatal Crash

Pittsburgh, PA: Two men accused of racing on a public highway are now facing charges in a fatal crash involving a school van in western Pennsylvania. The incident resulted in the death of a teenage girl, along with injuries to three other juveniles and two critically injured adults. 

According to authorities, the collision occurred on September 20 in Dravosburg when a northbound Volkswagen Jetta struck a Serra Catholic High School van as it attempted to make a left turn. Fifteen-year-old Samantha Lee Kalkbrenner was tragically killed at the scene. Reports indicate that Kalkbrenner, along with three other students and the van driver, were ejected from the vehicle during the crash. The van driver also sustained serious injuries.

Charged in connection with the incident are William Soliday II, 43, of Irwin, and Andrew Voigt, 37, of Pittsburgh. Both men, who worked at nearby locations, are accused of racing on the highway. Soliday faces charges of criminal homicide, vehicular homicide, aggravated assault, and reckless endangerment. Voigt, on the other hand, is charged with accidents involving death or injury and reckless endangerment.

Multiple witness statements were given indicating the Volkswagen and Jeep Grand Cherokee were traveling at a high rate of speed and appeared to be racing as they crossed the Mansfield Bridge, traveling towards the intersection of Richland Avenue and 3rd Street before the collision.

Authorities believe the two drivers were engaged in a high-speed race, with the first car allegedly traveling at speeds exceeding 100 mph just prior to the crash. The second vehicle was reportedly following closely behind, approximately two seconds away. 

During a press conference, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala had turned their vehicle “into a deadly weapon.” Soliday’s attorney, Casey White, stated that his client suffered head trauma, resulting in a lack of memory about the crash or even leaving home that day. White maintained that the crash was accidental and there was no malicious intent on Soliday’s part. White said, “Words can’t describe the remorse he has, his family has.”

The investigation into the incident is ongoing, with law enforcement piecing together the events leading up to the crash. As the community mourns the loss of Samantha Lee Kalkbrenner, emotions run high, and questions remain about how such a tragic event could have occurred.