A two-vehicle head-on crash occurred in Jefferson Township, Ohio, on Sunday evening, January 1, 2023. The accident killed three people–one adult male and two children. Two more people were injured.
According to Major Jeremy Roy of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the accident happened around 7:02 p.m. in the 5900 block of Germantown Pike, which is also known as State Route 4. The deputies shut down the road, and half-dozen ambulances were present at the scene.
The investigation indicates that a 2014 Chevy Traverse SUV was heading south on Germantown Pike and crashed directly into a 2000 Chevy Suburban.
Based on the reports, there was only one occupant in the Chevy Traverse, a 43-year-old man. He was declared the suspect responsible for the crash due to the evidence pointing out that he crossed the centerline. Roy said they found the suspect trapped inside his SUV upon arriving at the scene, and the emergency crew had to free him. He sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
Roy said the deputies had checked the suspect’s previous records. They found he had a history of OVI and determined alcohol was the factor in this crash. The suspect was taken to the hospital under the supervision of the deputies of Montgomery County’s Sheriff. The officials have issued a search warrant to check the suspect’s urinal and blood samples.
“We have probable cause at the scene to believe alcohol was a contributing factor, enough so that we executed a search warrant for a blood draw on the driver and will be awaiting lab results,” Roy said.
Roy said there were eight occupants in the Chevy Suburban. The driver was a 49-year-old man, while the passengers were children between seven and 14 years old. Roy said all were members of the man’s extended family. He and one of the children died at the scene.
“The driver of the Chevy suburban was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Jeremy Roy, Major of Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office
The other six child victims were taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital. One was pronounced dead, two remain hospitalized due to critical condition and three others had been treated and were already released.
“For a family to have to deal with this, for something that wasn’t necessary, is absolutely ridiculous,” Roy said. “In this day and age, there is no excuse for it, there’s enough that is out there to get you home safe.”
The officials have not released the names and ages of the victims who died in the crash, and the case is still under investigation by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Residents witness accident, help child victims
Reports stated that several people who live along the road witnessed the incident and went to help the injured victims. They described smoke, totaled vehicles and injured children lying around at the scene.
“It looked like a two-car crash, very bad,” one witness said to dispatchers. “Airbags are deployed.”
One of them, Debbie Hill, said she heard something that sounded like an explosion. Another resident, David Watson, was the one who called 911 and then attempted to help the confused and shocked child victims. Watson said one child tried to get back into his family’s SUV. One of the witnesses also said some children were trapped inside the SUV.
“I feel horrible for their family,” said Watson. “I feel bad for the doctors who are doing everything they can to save those kids.”
Roy said first responders and emergency workers were not usually flinched while dealing with this incident, but it is often a different case when children are involved.
“When it involves kids, that is something different,” Roy said. “You cannot respond to that scene and see nothing but your own kids.”