Around 6 a.m. on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, a Hyundai Sonata ran off Ridge Road, in Springfield Township, Ohio, at a speed later estimated to be 92-97mph, and then struck a tree, tearing the car in half.
The three teenage occupants, who were all killed, were Daniel Tittle (17), Charles Luthe (16), and Wesley Culpepper (15), however it wasn’t until almost two months after the incident that DNA testing revealed that Daniel had been the driver at the time of the crash. All were students at Tecumseh High School.
State troopers and other law enforcement officers who attended the scene said they had rarely if ever seen a crash as bad.
The car was torn apart by the force of the impact and nearby residents described the sound as being “like a bomb.”
The Springfield News-Sun published a set of 17 shocking photographs from the crash scene.
On May 5, toxicology results were announced, showing that each teen had blood alcohol content above the Ohio 0.08 legal limit for adults. The legal drinking age in Ohio is 21.
Sadly, then, this tragic crash involved several scenarios that are common in critical incidents involving young drivers, namely:
- A group of teens together, without a suitable adult present to create restraint;
- High speed;
- Alcohol (in this case with all three teens still over the legal BAC limit, despite it being ‘the next morning’);
- A run-off-the-road [ROTR] incident;
- Struck a tree.
At Road Safety USA, one of our key goals is to help reduce crashes and casualties, and one important part of this task involves the creation of permanent, individual, online memorial pages so that family members and friends can remember their loved ones not just in tragedy but also as they were in life.
If you would like to create a free Memorial Page for any of the three young men in the above tragedy, or for anyone else who has been lost in a road crash in the USA at any point in history, please Contact Us and we will tell you how it can easily be done.