Services Friday for Cocalico HS senior Lauren E. TrefnyJogger dies following accident in Denver

By on July 27, 2011

By: MICHELLE REIFF Review Staff, Staff Writer

More than 40 students, teachers and counselors who gathered together on Friday watched the life of Lauren Trefny flash across the screen in a DVD she had produced Friday — a life which had so tragically been taken away from her earlier that day.

The Cocalico senior-to-be was struck by a vehicle July 21, on Locust Street, while jogging and died as a result of her injuries in the hospital early July 22, East Cocalico Township police said.

Trefny, 17, was jogging west on the sidewalk around 9:30 a.m. last Thursday when she made a left to cross Locust Street in Denver, just past the intersection of Fifth Street. According to police, she crossed in front of the vehicle of Vicki Spence, 56, also of Denver, who was traveling on Locust Street in the same direction, and was struck.

As previously reported by The Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era, Trefny suffered an injury to her neck and throat and multiple abrasions, emergency responders said. She initially was conscious and able to walk after being struck, but then had difficulty breathing and went into cardiac arrest. She was transported to the Reading Hospital, where Dr. Eugene Reilly pronounced her dead at 1:16 a.m. on Friday, more than 15 hours later, according to a spokeswoman at the Berks County coroner’s office.

According to police, this is normally not a dangerous intersection. There have been fatalities where pedestrians have been hit trying to cross the street in the local area, but not at this particular location.

Police say no charges will be filed against the driver. According to police, there was nothing obstructing Trefny’s view of Spence’s vehicle and that there is some indication that Trefny may have been wearing headphones while she was jogging. The investigation into the accident continues.

Born in Lancaster, Trefny was the daughter of Paul and Terry A. (Schmaldienst) Trefny, of Denver.

Trefny, who would have been a senior at Cocalico High School this fall and recently returned as an exchange student in Germany, was an active member of the varsity cross-county team, the Leo Club, Symphonic Band, participated in theater productions and was very involved with the school’s TV studio. She enjoyed writing, was an avid reader and aspired to be an English teacher. She also was a Gift of Life donor.

"She was very cheery, very caring, very well liked," said Chris Irvine, her principal. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family."

Trefny’s peers and staff met at the high school on Friday in order to pay tribute to her and to help support each other during their time of grief. They watched a DVD which she had made to close the cross-country season and also one she had composed of her life growing up, said Irvine.

"They sat and shared stories about Lauren, no matter how big or small," said Irvine.

Trefny has been described as a "free spirit" by many who knew her.

"She was really into the Beatles and she loved Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and Johnny Cash," said her friend, Leah Wallace. "She was a the most selfless person ever and she was a phenomenal writer."

"She cared tremendously about her teammates," Ron Derr, the head coach of the varsity cross-country team, said of Trefny. "Going into the season we have a very large number of students who will be devastated."

Derr said Trefny had been running cross-country ever since she was in eighth grade and that she was on varsity the past two years. He also mentioned that the students have gotten together a few times since her death.

"It gives the kids a chance to grieve together," said Derr. "As teenagers you just expect you will have so much more time."

Also surviving are her brother: Andrew J., Trefny, of Denver; her maternal grandparents: Walter and Irene (Laufick) Schmaldienst, of Allentown; her paternal grandparents: Scott and Jeanette (Harkins) Trefny, of Lititz; and her paternal great-grandparents: John and Gladys (Glace) Trefny, of Lititz.

A memorial service will be held July 29 at 7 p.m. at Ephrata Community Church, 70 Clay School Road, Ephrata, with Rev. Kevin Eshelman officiating. There will be a time of fellowship following the memorial service. The family would prefer memorial contributions in Lauren’s memory be made to the Ephrata Public Library, 550 S. Reading Road, Ephrata, PA 17522. Arrangements are being made by Roseboro Stradling Funeral & Cremation Services Inc., Denver. Online condolences can be given at More TREFNY, page A6

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