Fatal traffic collision on I-79 takes student’s life

An Allegheny College student was killed in a collision on Interstate 79 Friday night, according to a Saturday afternoon email from the college to the campus community.

“We write to share the tragic news that first-year student Danielle Duncan passed away last night from injuries sustained during a traffic accident off campus,” the email read in part. “At this difficult, heartbreaking time, we mourn for Danielle and extend our deepest condolences to her family, classmates, friends, and all who knew her.”

Duncan, 19, was from Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and was planning to major in environmental science, according to a post on the “@allegheny2026” Instagram page.

The email detailed support services for students and members of the college community. The Counseling and Personal Development Center will be holding drop-in hours on Sunday, Nov. 13, from 3 to 5 p.m., as well as from 6 to 8 p.m. on both Tuesday, Nov. 15, and Thursday, Nov. 17.

Interim Dean of Students Trae Yeckley and First-Year Class Dean Niki Fjeldal will also be holding open office hours this week.

The email also said that the college was offering resources to affected faculty, and that any faculty or staff in need of further assistance should contact Dean for Student Success Ian Binnington.

According to the Pennsylvania State Police, Duncan was in a minivan driven by Matteo Guajardo, 18, driving south on I-79 near mile marker 129, approximately 18 miles south of Meadville. The report states that at approximately 8:04 p.m. Guajardo lost control of the van, which ran off the road and rolled over the embankment onto the northbound side of the road. The van was facing perpendicular to traffic and its lights were no longer working when it was hit on the passenger side by a pickup truck driving north.

Duncan was pronounced dead at the scene while Guajardo was transported to Allegheny Health Network Grove City with serious injuries, according to the crash report. The driver of the pickup truck, Daniel Byler, 51, of Cochranton, was not injured.

The investigation is ongoing, according to the crash report.