CLARK COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Three Clark County high school students were killed in a single car crash in Springfield Township early Wednesday morning.
Clark County sheriff’s deputies told 2 NEWS the driver of the car ran off Ridge Road, hit a tree, splitting the car in half.
Wesley Culpepper, 15, of Huber Heights, Charles Luthe, 16, of Springfield, and Daniel Tittle, 17, of Medway, were all pronounced dead at the scene according to the Springfield post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
The cause of the crash is still being investigated, but troopers said there is no doubt the 2010 Hyundai was going much faster than the 55 mile per hour speed limit when it slammed into the large tree.
“Cars don’t get torn apart like that doing 30-40 miles an hour. It just doesn’t happen,” said Lt. Brian Aller, of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. “And especially hitting an object like that and to tear about that far, strewn that way it was as far as it was. High speed was definitely a factor.”
None of the victims were wearing seat belts, although troopers said with the severity of the crash, seat belts would not have helped.
Investigators said the car was so mangled with debris everywhere, they still are not sure who was driving.
“Responding to this type of scene makes me hug my children harder. The tragic and senseless loss of these young men is devastating for not only their families, but the Tecumseh School System and entire Springfield community,” said Lt. Aller.
Culpepper and Tittle attended Tecumseh High School. Luthe was a student at Shawnee High School, but was enrolled in a program at Tecumseh.
Tecumseh Local Schools Superintendent Bradley Martin released a statement late Wednesday afternoon that the district is providing counseling over the next several days for grieving students. He says as a district, “we are grief stricken over the loss of the students. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the students’ families.
“We’re very sad about this tragic accident. Our prayers are with the Luthe family and the other victims, ” said Gregg Moore, superintendent of the Clark-Shawnee Local School District.
Both schools are out on Spring break. Moore said students should contact the district’s offices if they are in need of counseling, and that grief counselers will be at the school when students return on Monday.
2 NEWS has crews in Clark County and will have more information as it becomes available online and on 2 NEWS beginning at 5:00.