The 18-year-old who died after falling from a moving pickup truck Saturday in Earl Township had spent the day volunteering with youth group friends, according to police.
Jonathon Wise was in the bed of a pickup truck with 11 others when he fell and struck his head around 10 p.m. on Red Well Road near Lowry Road, according to New Holland police Chief William Leighty.
Wise, of New Holland, and his friends spent the day doing a youth group activity where they were "assisting an elderly person in need," Leighty said. He didn't know the church with which they were affiliated.
Saturday evening they were at a youth leader's house near the scene of accident. The group, five juveniles and nine who were around 18 years of age, left together for a "casual drive," Leighty said.
The driver, an 18-year-old man, got distracted by those in the bed of the truck and started to drift off the road, Leighty said. There was another passenger in the cab, and 12 people, including Wise, in the truck bed.
The driver turned the wheel, and two people seated on the passenger side of the bed fell off: Wise and a juvenile female. They were taken to Lancaster General Hospital. The female had a minor injury, Leighty said. Wise died at the hospital, according to the coroner.
"Speed was not a factor. Alcohol was not a factor. I think it was just kids being kids," Leighty said.
Leighty said his department and the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office are investigating the incident, but he didn't believe it was being considered a criminal investigation.
Lancaster County Coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni said Wise died an accidental death of multiple traumatic injuries.
"It's a tragedy for sure," Leighty said. "To have a group of kids that are going out and really trying to make a difference and have some tragedy like this to end the day is beyond comprehension."