Two area teenagers were killed and several other motorists were transported to area hospitals in two separate crashes which occurred within 45 minutes of each other Friday afternoon.
Logan County Sheriff Andy Smith reported this morning that Matthew B. Stewart, 19, of DeGraff, and Megan R. Smith, 19, of West Liberty, were both pronounced dead by Logan County Coroner Michael Failor at the scene of the first accident, which took place on Oak Hill, south of Bellefontaine at 1:35 p.m. Friday.
Both Stewart and Smith were passengers in a vehicle driven by Matthew W.C. Gilman, 23, of Knoxville, TN. Deputies reports that Gilman was northbound on US 68, north of Township Road 30, when he drove to the right of a vehicle that was stopped to make a turn into a business. According to the report, Gilman drove into a ditch, overcorrected, and then crossed the centerline into the path of a southbound vehicle driven by Jarrad T. Parker, 36, of Marysville.
Gilman was taken from the scene by CafeFlight to Miami Valley Hospital. Parker was transported to Mercy Memorial Hospital in Urbana by Riverside EMS, while a passenger in Parker's vehicle, Steven Curtis, 36, of Sardinia, was taken to Mary Rutan Hospital by Macochee EMS.
The crash closed US 68 to traffic for over three hours.
As of Sunday morning, Curtis had been treated and released. There was no update on Parker.
As of Monday morning, Gilman was upgraded to fair condition at Miami Valley Hospital.
The second accident occurred the south side of Bellefontaine on South Main Street at Augusta Drive (near Arby's and the Swiss Haus) around 2:09 p.m. Friday.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported that Phillip Casey, 70, of Tipp City, was driving a 2004 Ford F-150 northbound on Main Street in the left turn lane. Casey attempted to make a left turn and was struck by a southbound 1995 Toyota Celica operated by Dustin Murray, 18, of Bellefontaine. The truck spun counterclockwise and came to rest in the intersection. The Toyota traveled off the right side of the road and stopped on the sidewalk.
Casey was taken by Huntsville EMS to Mary Rutan Hospital.
Two passengers in the F-150 were also taken to Mary Rutan Hospital. Karen Gavitt, 73, of Troy, was taken by Zanesfield EMS and Peggy Casey, 65, of Tipp City, was transported by Bellefontaine EMS.
Murray was taken by MedFlight to Grant Medical Center in Columbus.
Two passengers in the Toyota were also transported. Savanah Fortner, 16, of Bellefontaine was taken by LifeFlight to Grant Medical Center and Nathaniel Dabe, 17, of DeGraff, was transported to Mary Rutan Hospital by Bellefontaine EMS.
Gavitt, Peggy Casey, and Dabe were treated and released. As of Sunday morning, Phillip Casey had been transported to Miami Valley Hospital where he is listed in Fair condition. Murray and Fortner were both listed in serious condition at Grant.
The Patrol’s Crash Reconstruction Unit is assisting in the investigation.
Bellefontaine Police Department, Bellefontaine Fire & EMS, Huntsville EMS, and Zanesfield EMS assisted at the scene.
Troopers are asking witnesses with information about the accident to call 937-644-8811.
(Both pictures: Car involved in South Main Street accident).