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Grief Counselors Offered After Pottsgrove Teen’s Death

Grief Counselors Offered After Pottsgrove Teen's Death

Michael Finnegan

POTTSTOWN PA – Grief counselors will be available today (Monday, May 5, 2014) at both Pottsgrove High School on Kauffman Road and the Western Montgomery Career and Technical Center in Limerick for students affected by the accidental death Friday night (May 2) of Michael Finnegan, an 11th grader who lived on the 700 block of Holly Drive in Stowe and attended classes at both buildings.

Finnegan, 16, was killed when the bicycle on which he was riding home stuck a car during evening hours on Manatawny Street near Sell Road. First responders rushed him by medical helicopter to a hospital in Reading, but he succumbed to his injuries.

Pottsgrove School District Superintendent Shellie Feola, who also is superintendent of record for the center, said Saturday (May 3) in an e-mail to high school parents that she had arranged to ensure counselors were on hand if needed, and asked the community to “keep the family in your thoughts and prayers.”

One way community residents have responded is to help collect funds to offset the cost of funeral expenses. A donation campaign was started during the weekend at FundRazr.com, here, and has set a goal of collecting $3,000 by June 3. As of Monday morning at 4 a.m., 62 contributors had already donated $2,313, or 77 percent of the total.

Feola described Finnegan as a member of the western center’s auto collision and repair program. Students there may be particularly affected, she noted, because one of its auto collision instructors also died following an accident during the winter. Finnegan began studies in the high school in 2012, Feola wrote; he also has a sister, Alana Poirier, who attends sixth grade at Pottsgrove Middle School, she added.

West Pottsgrove Police told WFMZ-TV Channel 69 in Allentown that Finnegan had been riding the bicycle down a steep hill and collided with the side of the car at the intersection. The force of the impact broke the bike in half, the station reported. The Berks County coroner’s office ruled the death an accident, and said Finnegan died of head and chest injuries.

Friends and family members attended a Saturday night vigil at the accident scene, and left signs, cards and flowers as memorials.

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