Distracted driving a contributing factor in fatal crash

A West Liberty-Salem student killed Sunday in a two-vehicle crash on U.S. Route 68 was using his phone around the time of the crash.

Devin Marchal, 16, of West Liberty, was distracted by his cell phone moments before traveling left-of-center and colliding head-on with a pickup truck pulling a horse trailer about 3:15 p.m. Sunday in the 3800 block of U.S. 68, according to a crash report released Wednesday by the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office.

The operator of the pickup truck, Tressa Wright, 48, of Marysville, was transported by Care Flight to Miami Valley Hospital with incapacitating injuries.

Her vehicle caught fire and she was pulled from her truck by motorists stopped for the crash. She was transported first to Grimes Field Airport, and then flown out by helicopter. 

Devin was mechanically extracted from his car, and pronounced dead at the scene by the Champaign County Coroner’s Office.

Both motorists were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

Macochee Joint Ambulance District and the West Liberty Fire Department responded.

West Liberty-Salem Schools adjusted schedules because of services for Devin. School was dismissed early today. Calling hours are from 1:30 to 3:30 and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. today at Eichholtz Daring & Sanford Funeral Home, 101 Zanesfield Road, West Liberty. There is no school Friday. The Mass of Christian Burial is at 11:30 a.m. Friday in St. Patrick Catholic Church, 316 E. Patterson Ave., Bellefontaine. A Celebration of Devin’s Life is planned for noon Saturday, Oct. 13, according to the school’s website. A stage will be set up on the band practice field and memories may be shared in an open mic format. The high school marching band, of which Devin was a member, plans to perform a Foot Steps Memorial Celebration and a balloon launch is expected.