Two Drexel students killed in Pa. crash

Six Drexel University students on a fraternity trip through Lycoming County were in a one-car wreck early yesterday morning that killed two of them, including the chapter's president, and injured the other four.

Police would not provide details, including whether alcohol was a factor in the accident or whether the two who died had been wearing seat belts.

John Patrick "Johnny" Williamson Jr., 21, of Havertown, and Ian Alexander, 22, of Royersford, died in the 3:30 a.m. accident on Route 15, two miles south of Liberty, Pa., state police said in a written release. The young men had been headed south at the time of the accident.

Williamson's mother, Donna Marie Williamson, 52, said police had assured her alcohol was not a factor in the accident. She said her son and his friends had been traveling to other Alpha Chi Rho chapters in Pennsylvania over the weekend.

Williamson was a biology major, devout Catholic and choir member, his mother said.

"He succeeded in everything he tried," she said.

Alexander, the president of Drexel's Alpha Chi Rho fraternity, had been on schedule to graduate in May with a double major in criminal justice and psychology, his friend, Jonathan Neff, 22, said. Alexander also played intramural football.

"He was definitely the most loyal person I ever met," said Neff.

The four who survived the wreck, including the driver, Andrew Cardamone, 19, of Philadelphia, were all wearing seat belts, the report said. Cardamone and passengers Eric S. Rayburn, 18, of Quakertown, and Kevin A. MacDonald, 18, of Philadelphia, were taken to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, where they remained in serious condition last night.

Passenger Adam Marsh, 20, of Collegeville, was airlifted to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, where he was in serious condition in the intensive care unit last night, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Drexel spokesman Noah Cohen said the six undergraduates were all associated with the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity's Drexel chapter, as members or prospective members. They were not on an official university trip, he said.

Alpha Chi Rho national officials could not be reached for comment.

Dean of students David Ruth said Drexel's counseling center has been helping students deal with the accident and that officials met with student leaders last night.

"The Drexel community is coming together and grieving together during this difficult time," Ruth said.


Contact staff writer Derrick Nunnally at 610-313-8212 or dnunnally@phillynews.com.