Close to Home

We had breaking news we reported late Friday night. A mutiple car accident in Ross Township involving three cars … and killing an twelve-year-old boy. Anytime someone is killed in an auto accident, its far from a pleasant thing to report. Little did I realize, though, how this death would hit close to home just days later.

I had Saturday off and did not even pick up a newspaper until Sunday, but once I came into the office I heard the name of the accident victim … and got an e-mail from his mother. The boy’s name was Jacob Snively. His mother’s name is Anne Hiller Snively.

His mother and I lived in the same dorm and became friends in my freshman year of college at Ohio University.


Jacob Snively ( Courtesy Pittsburgh Tribune-Review )

Tears began to well up in my eyes as my thoughts turned to Anne and her husband James. The grief they must be experiencing is beyond comprehension. Every parent just assumes to their children will outlive them. They just assume their youth is the first stage on life’s journey. No parent can possibly imagine burying their child. My friend from college is going to have to do that on Wednesday.

I often write in this blog about being moved when I read stories about tragedy and pain, but when it hits so close to home it moves you in such a different way. Anne was one of my good friends my freshman summer at school. She was from Pittsburgh and, at the time, I figured once I left college I wouldn’t see her again. However, shortly after coming to WTAE, Anne was visiting our studios and we bumped into each other and renewed acquaintances.

Now, we keep in touch with little notes via e-mail. It was this morning Anne sent me a note about her son’s passing. There was a picture of her son, Jacob. He looks so much like her. Not having children, it’s hard to imagine what such a loss must feel like. I’m near tears and I may have met her son once during his visit to WTAE. I cannot imagine what she and her family must be enduring.

It’s so difficult to see someone you knew so young, before getting married and before becoming a mother, endure such tradgedy and pain. My heart aches for her and her family.

Anne’s note was personal in nature but she did leave me one phrase that I can share with you … and it’s something we should all remember. Something we should all keep in mind and not wait until, God forbid, tragedy strikes:

“Hold on tight to your loved ones”.



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