SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WDTN) – State Highway Patrol troopers have determined speed was a major factor in a deadly crash that killed three Clark County teens Wednesday morning.
The investigation started around 5:30a.m. after a driver called 911 and told dispatchers, “There’s a vehicle and it’s pretty badly smashed up. It looks like it may have hit a tree.”
The call for help sent rescue crews racing to Ridge Road where they said they found the 2010 Hyundai Sonata split into two. Also, among the wreckage they said they found the bodies of three teens.
The boys have been identified as Wesley Culpepper, 15, of Huber Heights, Charles Luthe, 16, of Springfield and Daniel Tittle, 17, of Medway.
Lt. Brian Aller told 2 NEWS based on the wreckage alone, the teens had no chance of survival. He said the car was travelling much faster than the posted 55 mile per hour speed limit. “Cars don’t get torn apart like that doing 30-40 miles an hour. It just doesn’t happen,” added Lt. Aller.
Fred Maines owns Maines Towing and said the crash was one of the worst he’s seen in his 36 years of business.
His crews were called to recover the debris, some of which was so small they were using plastic bags and picking it up by hand. He said it’s a tough and sometimes emotionally taxing job.
“You have to show a lot of respect and dignity to the people involved and just take your time and work through it,” said Maines.
The same thing investigators said they will be doing as they move forward with their investigation.
Lt. Aller said the accident reconstruction will take some time to complete, but in the meantime troopers will be looking into where the teens were in the hours leading up the crash and also where they were headed. He said that information may provide answers as to what other factors contributed to the accident and if it could have been prevented.