Cause of New Year’s Day fatal crash uncertain Services Thursday for Denver woman

By on January 4, 2012

By: MICHELLE REIFF Review Staff, Staff Writer

Kelly L. NagleKelly L. Nagle

Following a year filled with a fatal fire and numerous accidents in the Cocalico area, the investigation continues as to why the start of the New Year brought yet another tragedy.

The first days of 2012 were quiet and tear-fllled at the Denver Nursing Home, where employees and residents mourned the death of Kelly Nagle, a CNA and single mother of two girls.

A vehicle accident in the 1300 block of North Reading Road in East Cocalico Township shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday left Nagle, 35, of the 600 block of Main Street, Denver, dead at the scene, according to East Cocalico Township police. The other occupant of the vehicle, Michael Thavenius, 31, of the 500 block of North State Street, Ephrata, succumbed to injuries from the accident and also passed away at Lancaster General Hospital Jan. 3.

Sue Butler of Denver, a co-worker of Nagle, said she will remember her friend as an amazing person who always had a smile on her face and a spark in her eye.

"She was very loving and cared about all the residents. She could replace an engine one minute and bake cupcakes with her girls the next," Butler said.

On the morning of the accident, officers arrived at the scene, just south of Redner’s Quick Mart, within minutes to find a full-size Chevy Blazer on its roof. Nagle had been ejected and Thavenius was trapped inside.

Police believe the Blazer was traveling northbound and collided with a Ford sedan, which was going south. The driver, George Nichols Sr., 53, of the 300 block of West Main Street, Ephrata, was transported by ambulance to the Reading Hospital Trauma Center, and his passenger, Debra Fort, 49, of the 100 block of East Fulton Street, Ephrata, was flown by PennStar helicopter to Reading and then transferred to University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

As of Wednesday morning, both Fort and Nichols remain hospitalized in critical condition.

Assisting at the scene of the accident were: Reamstown, Reinholds and Ephrata ambulances; Medics 4, 9 and 12; Denver Fire and Rescue; Reamstown and Stevens fire companies; and Life Lion helicopter.

A spokesman for the East Cocalico Township police said officials still do not know who was driving the Blazer or what caused the two vehicles to collide as of Tuesday afternoon; also, no toxicology reports had yet been received. He said an autopsy was scheduled to be performed on Nagle, but did not know whether one was being done for Thavenius.

Eric and Sara Knight of Denver, friends of Nagle, relate how she will be greatly missed by many.

"Kelly’s personality was like a firecracker," said Eric, who has known her for almost 20 years. Sara, like others, mentioned her warm smile and friendly demeanor toward everyone… a person who would "see you in a crowded room and be sure to make her way to you."

Facebook was filled with posts of the accident in the days following, relaying kind words about the lives lost and thoughts of condolence for the families affected.

Anyone who has information for investigators is encouraged to call officer Jonathan Zaun at 336-1725, extension 292.

As of Tuesday afternoon, services for Thavenius have not yet been determined.

A funeral service for Nagle will be held on Thursday evening. Following is her obituary:

Kelly L. "Shorty" Nagle, 35, of Denver, passed away Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012.

Born in Lancaster, she was the daughter of Bryan L. Nagle of Ephrata and Kathleen F. (Buterbaugh) Driesbach of Sinking Spring.

Kelly was a caring mom who enjoyed spending time with her girls, working on cars and camping. She worked as a CNA for Denver Nursing Home.

In addition to her parents, Kelly is survived by two daughters: Meranda Rebecca Pfamatter and Kassandra Lee Pfamatter, both at home; brother: Michael T. Nagle, of New Holland; niece: Shealyn Paige Nagle, of New Holland; step-mother: Mary (Frankhouser) Nagle, of Ephrata; step-father: Todd Driesbach, of Sinking Spring; two step-brothers: Todd Driesbach Jr. and Aaron Driesbach; four step-sisters: Michelle Emerich, Kelly Driesbach, Tonya (Peterson) Nixon and Tammy (Peterson) Robichaux; her paternal grandmother: Anna M. Nagle, of Ephrata; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

She was preceded in death by paternal grandfather: Robert L. Nagle Sr.; her maternal grandparents: Rankin J. and Pauline L. Buterbaugh; and her cousin: Tony.

A funeral service will be held on Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. at the Roseboro Stradling Funeral Home, 533 Walnut St., Denver.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund will be set up for Kelly’s girls. Call the funeral home for more information.

Arrangements are being made by Roseboro Stradling Funeral & Cremation Services Inc., Denver. Online condolences can be given at More FATAL, page A7

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