The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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June 18, 2012

Route 84 crash claims two lives

Driver’s attempt to pass on curve results in tragedy

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP — Two women died Sunday afternoon in a crash on Route 84 that sent five people, including two children, to Cleveland hospitals.

The crash that killed a 56-year-old Ashtabula resident and a 46-year-old Genevan occurred at 12:30 p.m., when the driver of an orange Chevrolet Heritage High Roof vehicle attempted to pass another vehicle eastbound.

The HHR was left of center as it passed the vehicle in a curved, no passing zone, Ohio State Highway Patrol reports show.

The driver saw the pickup and swerved back into the eastbound lane, lost control and drove left of center again and struck the truck head-on, OHP reports.

The driver of the truck died at the scene, coroner’s investigator Jim Baehr said.

Baehr and OHP troopers did not reveal the names of the victims Sunday as they worked to notify family members.

“The person not at fault was extracted from the vehicle. The passenger of the HHR was ejected from the vehicle. The passenger of the HHR died later at Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center,” he said.

Baehr said the driver of the truck died of blunt force trauma.

“Due to the circumstances, both bodies were sent to the Cuyahoga County coroner for autopsy and we expect preliminary results (Monday),” he said.

Survivors were transported to the Ashtabula County Medical Center and then transported to either Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center or Rainbow and Babies Children’s Hospital, Baehr said.

Witnesses at the scene said they heard the crash before they saw the wreckage.

“We heard a huge ‘boom’ and we ran to tell our parents,” said an 8-year-old boy who was riding his bicycle on the Western Reserve Greenway Trail at Woodman Avenue.

He didn’t have to tell his mother, though.

“We heard it from the house,” she said, “and we knew it had to be bad.”

Baehr said the crash happened “in a split second.”

“It just took a split second,” he said. “A driver decided to take that chance and the result was tragedy.”

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