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Crash claims life of WHS student

The community is mourning the loss of a Whitehall High School student killed in a two-vehicle crash July 31 at the intersection of MacArthur and Mechanicsville roads in the township.

According to Lehigh County Coroner Daniel A. Buglio, Mia G. Due, 16, died at the scene. She was the passenger in a vehicle that collided with a motorcycle just before 7 p.m.

The driver of the motorcycle, 42-year-old Jose Estrada-Estrada, of Reading, also died at the scene.

Both died of multiple blunt force injuries, said Buglio, who ruled the manner of their deaths an accident.

Whitehall Township Police Department is seeking witnesses to the accident, which remains under investigation by police, the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office and the Lehigh County Coroner’s Office.

Witnesses are asked to contact Sgt. Paul Barnes at 610-437-3042, ext. 2232.

At press time, there was no information on the driver of the vehicle.

Mia would have been a junior at WHS. She was a member of the Zephyrs’ girls soccer team.

Whitehall-Coplay School District sent an email to parents shortly after the police and coroner’s office released her name.

“It is with deep regret that we inform you about a recent loss to our school community,” Superintendent Dr. Robert Steckel said in the email. “This loss will surely raise many emotions, concerns and questions for our school community, especially our students.”

According to Steckel, school counselors and psychologists were available for students, parents and school personnel Aug. 2 at the high school. He reported a member of the counseling staff would be available daily, with the exception of Aug. 8 and 11, until the start of the upcoming school year.

The email also included information on grief counseling offered by Lehigh Valley Health Network and Compassionate Friends, a national organization with a Lehigh Valley chapter.

“We are saddened by the loss to our school community and will make every effort to help you and your child as you need,” Steckel said.

Soon after the news of Mia’s death was shared with WCSD students and parents/guardians, the Whitehall Football Boosters posted a note on Facebook.

It read, “The Whitehall Zephyr football team would like to offer our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to the families, friends and all those affected by the terrible accident last night on MacArthur Road. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.”

The post ended with the hashtag #zephyrstrong.

A GoFundMe account has been created to help with funeral expenses. At press time, $28,090 had already been raised. To contribute, go to gofundme.com/f/rgbnx9-mias-funeral-fund.

Her obituary noted a Mia Due Memorial Scholarship Fund is being established.

Two viewings will be held: 5-8 p.m. Aug. 5 and 9:30-10:15 a.m. Aug. 6 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 3024 S. Ruch St., Whitehall. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place 10:30 a.m. Aug. 6 at the church.

(See the full obituary on page A4.)

PRESS PHOTO BY SCOTT M. NAGY A memorial is placed at the intersection of Mechanicsville and MacArthur roads, Whitehall Township, following the July 31 crash that claimed the lives of 16-year-old Mia Due, of Whitehall, and 42-year-old Jose Estrada-Estrada, of Reading.