Representatives for the Ohio State Highway Patrol say the early morning traffic wreck that killed six people when their SUV overturned into a pond was caused by a "high rate" of speed, though they declined to specify the speed at which the vehicle was traveling at the time of the crash. Officers would not comment on whether they believe alcohol or drug impairment played a role in the fatal car accident as they still have to receive the results of pending toxicology tests.
Investigators say the crash occurred at around 7 a.m. when the19-year-old woman who was driving the SUV lost control of the vehicle, causing it to leave the roadway and flip into a swampy pond. One victim was thrown from the vehicle and became stuck beneath it in the water, while the others were trapped inside the sinking vehicle. Two survivors, ages 15 and 18, were able to escape the vehicle and ran to a home approximately a quarter of a mile away to call 911.
Emergency medical responders were able to retrieve several victims from the vehicle. Two 15-year-old boys were suffering cardiac arrest, prompting the responders to transport them to a hospital for hypothermic drowning trauma treatment. However, they were later pronounced dead at the hospital. The two surviving teenagers were treated for injuries and released from the hospital. The remaining victims, who ranged in age from 14 to 19, were all killed.
The victim's friends and families were unsure where they were traveling when the crash occurred, informing police that they only knew they were out with friends. "All I know is my baby is gone," explained the father of one of the 15-year-old victims. A friend of another victim tearfully recalled his playfulness and cheery disposition. "He was one of a kind," she explained. "In school, he always made everyone laugh." It is unclear whether the families of any of the victims plan on pursuing legal action in response to the deadly accident.
Source: Yahoo! News, "Highway patrol: 'High rate' of speed in Ohio crash," Thomas J. Sheeran, March 11, 2013