Hilliard Northwest News

Nine-year-old Hilliard boy killed in weekend car crash

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Nine-year-old Elijah Love, a fourth-grade student at Beacon Elementary School in Hilliard, was among three people killed in a two-car crash at 11:20 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7.

Tne accident occurred on U.S. Route 62 in Pleasant Township just north of the Pickaway County line near Harrisburg.

Alcohol or drugs are considered a factor in the early stages of the investigation, according to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.

No charges had been filed earlier this week and the accident remains under investigation, said Cpl. Thad Lookabaugh, who works in the sheriff's office's traffic crash unit.

Investigators said Melissa Ann Robins was driving south on U.S. Route 62 when her vehicle, a Pontiac Vibe, went left of center and struck the Love family's 2012 Honda Accord head on.

The Loves, who live in Hilliard, were heading home from a high school football game in Circleville.

Elijah was riding in the back seat of the Honda.

His father, James Love, 37, was driving and was transported to Mount Carmel West Hospital in stable condition.

Also injured were Elijah's mother, Amanda, 37, and two siblings: his 15-year-old half-brother, Jordan Gilliland, and 7-year-old sister, Aliyah.

Amanda Love was transported to Grant Hospital in serious condition and the other two children were transported to Nationwide Children's Hospital.

A father and son in the Pontiac Vibe -- Sammy F. Stamper, Sr., 55, of Ashville, and Samuel Scott Stamper, 29, of Orient -- were pronounced dead at the scene, Lookabaugh said.

Robins, 32, of Orient, was transported to Grant Hospital in serious condition.

She is believed to be the girlfriend of the younger Stamper, investigators said, and they are awaiting lab results on her. They said charges are expected.

In an email sent to parents of children at Beacon Elementary School, Principal Betsy Long said students had been informed of the fatal accident. She encouraged parents to discuss it with their children.

"Death is a difficult topic for many adults, and children handle this stress in a variety of ways," Long wrote.

Support services, including counselors for students and staff were made available at Beacon Elementary School, Long said.

District spokeswoman Amanda Morris said counselors would remain available as needed for students and staff, but there also is a concern "to keep the school day as normal as possible" for students.

The school board held a moment of silence for the Loves before its Sept. 9 meeting.

Mayor Don Schonhardt also shared the news at Hilliard City Council's Sept. 9 meeting.

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the (Love) family," Schonhardt said.