Hill Hopping: A Dangerous Thrill

Family, friends, and fellow students remembered Julia Schmidt at a funeral Wednesday night. The 16-year-old St. Ursula Academy junior died as a backseat passenger in a car crash on a street with a reputation for hill-hopping.

"You ask any kid in Anderson Township and they know about Woodruff Hill," claimed Missy Arnold, who called 911 following Friday's accident. "Teenagers will try to get their cars really going to try and see if they can get airborne and the hill really lends itself to that."

Police will only say the driver, 16-year-old Katherine Moore, lost control and hit a utility pole and sewage pumping station before flipping the car. She and a front-seat passenger, 17-year-old Drew Armstrong, suffered minor injuries. Paramedics pronounced Schmidt dead on the scene.

The accident reminded many of a hill-hopping crash less than two-years ago in Delhi Township, which claimed the lives of 13-year-olds Anna Destefano and Kelli Ridenour.

"The details were so similar, so very similar," said Anna's mother, Mary Pat McQuaide. "I thought, 'Oh my God. I hope that wasn't hill hopping'."

"It's just a tragic loss of life," added Kelly's dad, Doug Ridenour.

Every death forces the families to re-live their loved one's last moments.

"I think about what she was thinking and feeling driving down that street and the terror she felt when she realized the danger she was in," claimed McQuaide.

"I have a two year old son and she never knew him," regretted Anna's sister, Regina Thomas.

"Her birthday's coming up in a few weeks," said Ridenour. "What would she be like now, I'll never know."