Layers of tragedy surround the death of recent Red Land graduate Joshua Hershey, who died Sunday at the scene of a fiery crash in Newberry Township.
The scarred terrain in front of 2965 Old Trail Road tells the story of what physically happened; a car left the road and entered a drainage ditch before smacking the 1-ton boulder the resident had placed there to mark his driveway.
The car and the boulder tore up tracks of lawn, with the boulder landing on its side about 25 feet from its original position. The vehicle caught fire and came to rest in what is now a patch of scorched ground on which Hershey's former classmates have started a memorial.
But the tragedy continues beyond what has been burned into the landscape. The car's driver and the crash's lone survivor was Hershey's twin brother, Jacob Hershey, an 18-year-old who on Monday lived his first day without his constant companion.
They were less than a mile from their house, which is in the 2800 block of Old Trail Road.
And in what friend and former classmate Courtney Stone said was perhaps most cruel, it was Father's Day.
A tearful Stone, 18, struggled to find the words to describe the loss Monday when she visited the scene of the crash with her mother.
"They always did everything together," she said.
Best friends: Stone said the boys were so similar in appearance and demeanor that their friends told them apart by which one had slightly less hair on one of his eyebrows; that one was Josh.
He and his twin were otherwise indiscernible to all but those students such as Stone, who had attended classes with them since grade school and could see their subtle differences, she said.
They were named "Best Friends" and featured in this year's school yearbook because they were always together, Stone said. It was implied that if one were invited, the other would show.
They had just returned from Senior Week in North Carolina shortly before the crash, and the two were looking forward to playing football together in college as they had in high school, she said.
A Red Land Patriots jersey and a football were among the items friends had placed at the charred crash scene.
The crash: Bob Hardie, whose boulder was pushed in the crash, said Monday he's still trying to process what happened.
"I caught a glimpse of red and heard a pop," he said. "The car rolled ... and caught fire. I ran to get my fire extinguisher, then realized it wasn't even going to do anything."
He and a neighbor moved Joshua Hershey away from the flaming car, using a sheet of plywood as a makeshift backboard, Hardie said.
"(Hershey) didn't say anything to us," Hardie said. "He was still alive then ... but we could tell he was in real bad shape."
York County Coroner Pam Gay said Jacob Hershey was trapped in the car after Joshua Hershey was ejected.
Crash witness and Good Samaritan Guy Moody said he was about a block from his home when, about 1:30 p.m., he came across the older model red Corvette that had flipped onto its roof.
Through smoke and with the engine compartment engulfed in flames, Moody happened to see an arm through a smashed window and reached in to pull the driver from the wreckage, he said.
Jacob Hershey was listed in satisfactory condition at York Hospital on Monday afternoon, spokesman Barry Sparks said.
An autopsy on his brother will be performed at Allentown's Lehigh Valley Hospital on Tuesday, Gay said.
West Shore School District spokesman Ryan Argot said counselors were available at the school Monday, but he didn't know whether or how many students had been to visit them.
"Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family," he said.
— Reach Christina Kauffman at email@example.com.