A young mother who was planning to get married in October will instead be laid to rest Tuesday after a fatal car crash.
Lindsay M. Schmit, who grew up in Riverside, died Thursday morning in Pennsylvania after her Chevrolet Malibu crossed the center line on Route 446 and was struck by a tractor-trailer. Schmit, who died at the scene of the crash, was 26.
She was driving the car with two passengers: her fiancé, Christopher Johnston, and her 2-year-old son, Carter Pontius, both of whom suffered severe injuries in the crash, according to Pennsylvania State Police.
“She was a beautiful girl,” her father, Herbert Schmit, said on Saturday.
She and her fiancé had been dating about a year and a half, and they got engaged in August. They met on a Christian online dating site, her father said. The two had been living together in an apartment in the Bradford, Pa., area for about four months.
Lindsay had started working earlier this year in medical billing for the Bradford Regional Medical Center. She also was taking an online medical coding class through Bryant & Stratton College.
Herbert Schmit said he received a call from one of his daughter’s co-workers on Friday night, who told him what a good worker she was and how her co-workers really liked her, he said.
Over the past couple of years, Schmit had posted dozens of photographs of her son and fiancé on her Facebook page.
She won’t get to see her son turn 3 in May.
“He meant everything to her,” Herbert Schmit said.
Lindsay graduated from Charles Grandison Finney High School, a private Christian school in Buffalo, in 2005, her family said. One of her previous jobs was at the Applebee’s restaurant on Delaware Avenue, near Hinman Avenue.
The family, which runs Schmit Plumbing & Heating on Ontario Street, moved to Grand Island about a year and a half ago.
All the plans had been finalized for the couple’s wedding, Herbert Schmit said.
“Her wedding dress is hanging in my closet,” he said by phone on Saturday.
Lindsay was the second-oldest among four sisters, with older sister, Mallory, and younger sisters, Rachel and Kellie.
She is also survived by her mother, Karen, along with aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.
The crash occurred in Eldred Township, just across the state line, at about 6:15 a.m. Thursday.
The car was headed north when it spun and crossed into the southbound lane, police said.
Johnston, who is from the Bradford area, was in the front passenger seat, which was struck by the tractor-trailer and “completely crushed,” according to Schmit’s family.
Johnston was listed in critical condition in Erie County Medical Center’s trauma unit Saturday. His injuries included a broken back, shattered pelvis and internal injuries, Herbert Schmit said.
The boy, who was ejected after the car hit a guardrail, was found in the snow about 90 minutes after the crash, he said. His injuries include a broken leg, fracture in the neck area, a skull fracture, bruised lung, bleeding on the brain and frostbite. He had been put on a ventilator, but was no longer on one as of Saturday afternoon.
The boy was in the intensive care unit of Women & Children’s Hospital on Saturday. His condition was not available.
Police initially said none of the vehicle’s occupants were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, though Herbert Schmit disputed that, saying the boy had been in a car seat.
Kevin D. Padlo, 53, of Olean, was identified as the driver of the tractor-trailer. He was not injured in the crash, which remains under investigation.