WNEP.com | News, Weather & Sports from WNEP-TV — Proud to Serve Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania

Paying Tribute to Hometown Marine

SPRINGVILLE TOWNSHIP — “He was a headstrong Marine, very motivated.” The inside of the Springville Baptist Church was filled with family, frie...

SPRINGVILLE TOWNSHIP -- "He was a headstrong Marine, very motivated."

The inside of the Springville Baptist Church was filled with family, friends, and a few dozen Marines all paying tribute to Staff Sergeant  Andrew Stevens.

"He wasn't just a son-in-law. He was like a son to me. We had many great trips, many great journeys," Karin Dorman, Stevens' mother-in-law said.

The 27-year-old Springville native was killed January 2 in a crash along Route 29.

State police said Stevens was at a stop sign near Springville when a water tanker truck slammed into the back of his vehicle, causing it to burst into flames.

Family members say Stevens was home that weekend for his sister's wedding.

"Being that I know him and everybody in town here kind of knew him, it was a tragedy for everybody here. The whole community is just pretty stricken by it," Chief Dan Smales of the Springville Volunteer Fire Company said.

The husband and father of two spent the last nine and a half years in the Marine Corps.

Stevens did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He also spent time in California as a drill instructor before heading to Camp Lejeune.

Pennsylvania Patriot Guard Riders held flags outside of the funeral in honor of the hometown Marine.

"Very tragic. It's such a shame,  just an accident like this. Somebody that has been through so much, serving our country, two tours. To come home and have something like this happen, it's a real shame," Mike Vogt, assistant state captain of the Pennsylvania Patriot Guard Riders said.

Many reflected on the hometown Marine as they watched the funeral procession.

"Just a really nice son, father, and husband and a good kid to the community," Shirley Warner of Springville said.

Warner watched the funeral procession Monday afternoon. She tells Newswatch 16 she knew Stevens as a kid.

She took a few moments to reflect on the young man she said she'll never forget.

"Our country needs more like Andrew. The amount of stuff he has done in his short period on this earth, it will never be repaid," Warner said.

State police tell Newswatch 16 the crash that killed Stevens is still under investigation.

There is no word if and when charges will be filed.