By Jenn Bernstein
RADNOR TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — A junior at Episcopal Academy in Radnor Township lost his life when his SUV crashed on Eagle Road Thursday night, according to police.
Eighteen-year-old Paul Pratt was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say his car hit a curb, rolled over and struck a tree, and that he was not wearing a seat belt.
The Academy tells Eyewitness News that Pratt was an excellent student and a talented rower. Just hours after his death, he was supposed to compete with his rowing team at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta in Philadelphia.
School officials say Pratt was one of the best rowers in his age group across the country and was being recruited by Ivy League schools like Harvard even in his junior year.
Officers carried heavy hearts after responding to the crash.
“There are no words to express how you feel — as a human being, as a police officer, as a parent,” said Radnor Township Police Superintendent Bill Colarulo. “He literally – literally — had his whole life ahead of him.”
School officials at the Academy say Pratt was not only athletic, but very smart and well-liked by others.
They sent us statements from a teacher and school leader who knew him best.
His history teacher and advisor, Amanda Vos Strache, said in a statement:
“Paul was an incredibly intelligent, driven young man with the brightest of futures ahead of him. Those who knew him knew his wit and genuine passion for life. Paul was a positive force for all who were lucky enough to know him.”
The Form Dean for the class of 2014, Jackson Collins, said in a statement:
“Paul had an infectious personality. He was the type of kid that fellow students and faculty gravitated toward. Paul was the type of student that any educator would be proud to be around. He challenged you to be a better teacher, a better coach and he’s someone who really developed as a young man at The Episcopal Academy.”
Police are still trying to determine what caused Pratt to crash.
For now, officials say it appears to be driver error, and they do not believe there were other contributing factors.