Meadville Tribune

Local News

February 1, 2014

Cochranton High School senior honored for fast action to aid accident victim on one of the coldest days Crawford County has seen in decades

COCHRANTON — If there’s one thing Alex Custead learned from his experience assisting Meadville man Travis Vickers from the scene of a crash earlier this month, it’s this — it pays to be at the right place at the right time.

“Your quick action probably saved his life,” Mayor Burt Waite told Custead, a senior at Cochranton Junior-Senior High School, in front of his peers. “Community members like yourself make this borough a great place to live.”

The school’s senior class applauded Custead as he received a certificate of commendation from Waite and Cochranton Police Chief Heather Beachy.

“I don’t even know what to say,” Custead smiled. “I was just lucky to be in the right place at the right time.”

In the early, frigid hours of Jan. 7, Custead’s parents sent him out to the family barn to fetch a heater to thaw some frozen water lines.

School was out that day and the tractor wouldn’t start because of the cold temperatures, approximately 11 below zero at the time, according to Alex’s mother, Beth. It was the coldest day Crawford County had seen in decades.

On his way driving back to the house, Alex noticed bits of debris and a car bumper laying around Pettis Road and left his truck to investigate.

“I saw a guardrail that was all smashed, but was like,‘Where’s the car?’” he said. “There was a house there and a guy was stumbling around the driveway. I got him in the truck to keep him warm.”

Vickers apparently suffered a severe concussion and two fractured vertibrae from the crash, which occurred at about 5:45 a.m. He lost control of his vehicle, according to state police, and ended up in a ravine.

Alex tried to get emergency contact numbers from Vickers, who could only divulge his and his father’s names due to his disorientation.

“I took him back to the farm because I knew my parents would know what to do,” Alex said.

The Custeads promptly called 911 and Beth even accompanied Vickers in the ambulance to Meadville Medical Center where his father was waiting.

They would eventually find out that Alex not only helped a CHS graduate, but a distant relative as well. His grandfather and Vickers’ were cousins, according to Beth.

“He did a good thing, the right thing,” she said, watching Alex receive his certificate. “He’s a good kid.”

“We like to do this for kids who go out of their way to do something,” Beachy said. “It’s nice to focus on the positives.”

Custead’s recognition marks the second certificate given to a CHS student within the past year, the first being Jacob Simpson for assisting a Cochranton man who fell and broke his hip while working on a motor home.

The commendations are ultimately a reflection of the good inherent in all Cochranton youths, Waite said.

“It’s not a good thing to have to find somebody in a wreck, but I’d definitely help again,” Alex said.

Konstantine Fekos can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at

Text Only
Local News
  • Well inspectors trying to keep up during boom time

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 27, 2014

  • cycle Young stunt cyclist to bring show to 'Thunder'

    V-v-v-v-eroom! is the high-pitched whine from the Honda CBR 600 sport motorcycle as Steven Pilic rolls back the throttle and speeds down the asphalt. In one quick, smooth motion — just like you put one foot in front of the other — he shifts his weight forward on the handlebars, jumps from the bike’s foot pegs, lands his feet on the seat and pulls the 400-plus pounds of metal up onto its back wheel, using a combination of balance, brakes, clutch and speed to circle slowly at first and then faster and faster, tighter and tighter while doing a wheelie.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tornado watch issued for Crawford County

    The National Weather Service in Cleveland has issued a tornado watch for Crawford County.


    July 27, 2014

  • SUNDAY ISSUE: 'Free-range' parenting

    The case of a woman arrested after leaving her daughter at a park while she went to work is sparking discussion across South Carolina — and even the rest of the country.

    July 26, 2014

  • pymatuning History majors rule at Pioneer & Art Festival

    Those looking for living history exhibits at the 21st annual Pymatuning Pioneer & Art Festival weren’t disappointed Saturday.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Organizers ready to stimulate Meadville with next weekend's Thunder in the City

    Started six years ago by Dave Stone, owner of Mickey’s Central Station, as an event to “increase commerce and stimulate the economy,” the annual Thunder in the City Classic Car and Motorcycle Show in Meadville has done that — and lots more.

    July 25, 2014

  • Conneautville celebrating 200 years

    Thursday was a relaxed opening day at the Conneautville Bicentennial Celebration, but things will get hopping today — literally. A frog jumping contest is scheduled for 6 p.m.

    July 25, 2014

  • PennDOT seeking outside help to make bridge repairs

    State officials are poised to sign a massive deal that will enlist outside help to rebuild and maintain up to 600 bridges, marking the Corbett administration’s latest foray into privatizing key government functions.

    July 24, 2014

  • Stabbing charges dismissed against Bloomfield woman

    A Bloomfield Township woman accused of stabbing her live-in companion last month is a free woman after the alleged victim in the case didn’t appear in court Wednesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • Guys Mills boy wins national PBS Kids Writers Contest

    July 24, 2014

Business Marquee
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide