New multi-county crash investigation team activated
MARYSVILLE —Details were still being compiled this morning after a head-on crash Sunday night claimed the lives of two juveniles and an adult.
According to the Union County Sheriff’s Office, at 8:09 p.m. deputies responded with crews from the Union Township Fire Department, the Pleasant Valley Fire District and the Marysville Fire Department to State Route 161 near State Route 38 in southwest Darby Township, for the two vehicle head-on crash.
Union County Coroner Dr. David Applegate was called to the scene and three victims were pronounced dead. Those victims were identified this morning as Joshua Fraley, 30, of Mechanicsburg, Easton Fraley, 2, of Mechanicsburg, and Olivia Aicher, 17, of Dublin. Aicher is a student at Dublin Coffman High School.
Union County Sheriff Jamie Patton also responded to the crash site. His media release states that a 2002 Pontiac Bonneville and a Mercury Mountaineer crashed head on in the area, although exactly how the crash occurred remains under investigation.“It’s going to take some time to sort it all out,” UCSO Chief Deputy Tom Morgan said.
What is known, he said, is that three people were injured and three others died in the incident.“Three victims were confirmed deceased,” the sheriff’s report states.
“Three other victims were transported to Columbus area hospitals. ”Medflight and Careflight helicopters transported two injured victims to Grant Medical Center and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus.
The third injured person, a child victim, was transported by ambulance to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. Details on those injured passengers were not available before press time.
At press time this morning, Union County Sheriff Jamie Patton was conducting a television media forum on the incident at the UCSO offices and was not available for comment.
Morgan said further details from the crash were expected to be available later today.
The fatal crash also highlighted a new focus on major traffic incident response in this region of Central Ohio.
Morgan said a new multi-county crash investigation team was created, consisting of deputies from UCSO, the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, the Logan County Sheriff’s Office and the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office. He said these officials are now investigating the crash, with the assistance of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
He said news of the new emergency response team was almost ready for release to the media, when the fatal crash occurred before that could happen.
"We decided to activate the team,” he said.
The Union County Emergency Management Agency and the Ohio Department of Transportation also assisted at the crash scene. The incident closed down S.R. 161 in the area from 8:30 p.m. until after 1:30 a.m. this morning, as emergency services handled the crash scene and tended to victims.