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UPJ Student Death

The Pitt Johnstown community is mourning the loss of a student who died this week after a vehicle crash on an icy road in Franklin County.

“It is with profound sadness that I write to inform our campus community that Pitt-Johnstown first year civil engineering student, Samuel Benshoff, passed away on Monday evening as a result of injuries sustained in a weekend car accident near his hometown,” wrote Pitt Johnstown President Jem Spectar.

According to the York County Coroner’s Office, 19-year-old Benshoff, of Waynesboro, was driving on Washington Township Boulevard Friday when his vehicle crossed the double yellow line around 10:23 p.m. and collided with another vehicle.

Authorities say it had recently snowed and road conditions were reportedly icy when Benshoff’s vehicle slid sideways into the opposite lane.

They say Benshoff was taken to York Hospital after a difficult extraction where he was treated for three days before he succumbed to his injuries.

Pitt Johnstown officials say Benshoff was a first year civil engineering student and played on the university’s soccer team.

“A talented and exceptionally motivated student athlete, Samuel was renowned for his diligent work ethic, tremendous energy, generosity of spirit, and constant pursuit of excellence. Much admired and beloved by all who knew him here at Pitt-Johnstown, Samuel definitely made a great and lasting impact on his classmates, fellow teammates, and so many other members of our community,” Spectar wrote.

Students and other campus community members in need of grief counseling during this difficult period are encouraged to reach out to the Counseling Services team by phone at (814) 269-7119 or via email at

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