The Post-Journal

Cassadaga Coach Killed In Car Crash

Gerry — Joseph P. Annarella, 52, of RD 2, Sinclairville, Cassadaga Valley Central School football coach for 23 years, was killed in a two-car accident at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday (December 14, 1976), on Route 380 in the Town of Gerry, Chautauqua County Sheriff John R. Bentley said. Three others were injured.The coach, who was alone in his car, was the 35th highway motor vehicle victim to date, compared with 29 for the same period a year ago, the sheriff added.

While Annarella was pronounced dead on arrival at W.C.A. Hospital in Jamestown, Thomas J. Costanzo, a county coroner, could not be reached to determine the cause of death.

Bentley said five charges were lodged against the other driver, William M. McConnell, 28, of 17 Bush Street, Jamestown, who was admitted to W.C.A. for observation. A hospital spokesman said he was satisfactory this morning.

Charges filed against McConnell are driving while license was suspended, driving an unregistered motor vehicle, speed not reasonable and prudent, failure to keep right and operating a motor vehicle without insurance, according to Bentley.

Bentley said McConnell is scheduled to appear before Gerry Town Justice Roy Lindsey.

One of two passengers in the McConnell vehicle was admitted to W.C.A. Hospital for observation and is also in satisfactory condition, a spokesman said. Bentley identified him as Dennis W. Gane, 25, of RD 2, Sinclairville.

The other passenger, Pamela J. Anderson, 18, of RD 2, Sinclairville, was discharged after she was treated for shock, a hospital spokesman reported.

The sheriff's investigators said the coach was driving his car north. The McConnell car was going south and as it came over the crest of a hill, McConnell lost control of his car, which struck the Annarella car head-on in the northbound lane, Bentley said.

Sheriff's patrolmen Andrew W. Lawrence and James L. Young conducted the investigation, and filed the charges against McConnell, Bentley said. Sheriff's Sgt. Dale W. Van Vlack assisted.

Annarella was born March 11, 1924, in New Castle, PA, the son of Felix and Angela Annarella. He was granted his B.S. and master's degrees from Ithaca College and for 23 years had served as coach and physical education instructor at Cassadaga Valley Central School. Also, during the summers, Annarella had been driver education instructor at Falconer Central School.

Annarella's football team ledger this season was 6-1-1, to bring his coaching career to 103-65-7, a record that included three crowns and a share of two others.

He was a member and secretary of the Southern Tier Wrestlers' Association and a member of the executive committee of the Chautauqua County Athletic Council.

During World War II, he served overseas with the U.S. Navy.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Ellen Mayers Annarella; a daughter, Erica M. Annarella at home; three sisters, Mrs. Rose Chiafullo, Miss Elizabeth Annarella, and Miss Josephine Annarella, and two brothers, Anthony Annarella and Michael Annarella, all of New Castle, PA.

The funeral service will be at 9:30 a.m. Friday in the Jordan Funeral Home, Sinclairville, and at 10 a.m. in St. John the Evangelist Church. The Rev. G. Antonio Laberge will officiate. Burial will be in Red Bird Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 7 to 9 p.m. today and from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday in the funeral home. A Christian Wake Service will be held at 8 p.m. Thursday in the funeral home.


The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame. We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.

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