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Crash Kills Young Mother, Spares Baby


A second crash on Route 187 in less than one week has claimed the life of Paris Suzanne Ward-Chilson. State police at Towanda investigated the accident, which occurred sometime around 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 20. Police were assisted at the scene by Wysox Fire and Ambulance.

Chilson, 20, who resided in Terry Township, was traveling north toward Durell on Route 187, when she briefly left the roadway on the right, then apparently overcompensated and went across the highway. Her Jeep Liberty Sport went over an embankment at a point in the roadway where there were no guide rails and plunged about 20 feet into a shallow section of Durell Creek. Paris was pronounced dead at the scene by Bradford County coroner Thomas Carman as a result of “blunt force head and neck traumatic injuries.” Chilson was not wearing a seat belt. Her 10-month-old daughter, Kyleigh, was secured in a child safety seat and was not injured, according to police.

Chilson is the daughter of Colleen Lewis and Frank Ward and a 2009 graduate of Towanda High School, where she was a swimmer and a member of the track team. Paris was also involved in football and wrestling cheerleading. She enjoyed traveling and was a certified scuba diver. Her husband, Robb, whom she married on Sept. 11, 2010, is currently serving in Afghanistan.

A memorial service for Chilson is planned for 6 to 9 p.m. today at the Maryott-Bowen Funeral Home, 217 York Ave., Towanda. A Christian burial mass is slated for 10 a.m. at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 106 Third St., Towanda, at 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 26, with interment at Oak Hill Cemetery in Towanda to follow.

At the request of the family, memorial contributions may be sent to the Continuing Education Fund for Kyleigh Marie Chilson, in care of Corporate America Federal Credit Union, 387-1 York Ave., Towanda, PA 18848.

A small memorial, created by friends and family members, marks the spot where Paris’s vehicle went over the bank. 

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