An accident that killed three people and injured three others last week was caused when a sport-utility vehicle carrying two high school students crossed the centerline, investigators have determined.
The head-on crash happened shortly after 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23, on state Route 161 west of state Route 38 in southern Union County.
The accident killed 30-year-old Joshua Fraley of Mechanicsburg; his 2-year-old son, Easton Fraley; and 17-year-old Olivia Aicher of Dublin. All died at the scene, according to the Union County Sheriff's Office.
According to an initial crash report released by the sheriff's office, a 2005 Mercury Mountaineer driven by Aicher was traveling eastbound when it went left of center and struck a 2002 Pontiac Bonneville driven by Fraley, who was traveling westbound with his wife and two children.
Fraley's wife, Jennifer, 36, was taken by medical helicopter to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, and his 4-month-old daughter, Payton, went by ambulance to Nationwide Children's Hospital. Breon Flynn, 18, of Dublin was a passenger in Aicher's vehicle and was taken by medical helicopter to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center for treatment.
According to WBNS-10TV, the infant has been released and is being cared for by a family member. OSUWMC did not have a listing for Jennifer Fraley in the patient directory as of late afternoon Friday, Feb. 28. Information about Flynn's condition was not available from OhioHealth as of press time.
The initial accident report states the Mountaineer went off the road to the right just east of a curve, then came back onto the road, losing control. The SUV then crossed the centerline and struck the Bonneville's left front corner. The car spun and went into a ditch on the north side of the road, while the SUV spun and rolled over, landing on the passenger side in the middle of the road.
The report estimates the Mountaineer was traveling at 62 mph and the Bonneville at 55 mph. The speed limit in the area is 55.
According to the report, neither Aicher nor Joshua Fraley was wearing a seat belt. Aicher was ejected from the vehicle.
Emergency crews from the Jerome Township, Marysville and Union Township fire departments and the Pleasant Valley Fire District responded to the accident.
The investigation is continuing as law enforcement officials examine forensic data and other evidence.
Chief Deputy Tom Morgan said it was not certain when a final report would be released.
"It'll be quite some time yet. We have more evidence that we need to sift through," he said.
A funeral service for Aicher, a senior at Dublin Coffman High School, was scheduled Friday, Feb. 28, at Rutherford Funeral Home in Powell, followed by a private burial at Dublin Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requested contributions be made to the Olivia Aicher Scholarship Fund, c/o Dublin Coffman High School, 6780 Coffman Road, Dublin 43017.
Visitation for Joshua and Easton Fraley was scheduled from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 2, at the Skillman, McDonald & Vernon Funeral Home in Mechanicsburg, with a funeral service at 11 a.m. Monday, March 3, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Milford Center and burial in Darby Township Cemetery in Unionville Center. In lieu of flowers, contributions were requested for the Payton D. Fraley college fund at Security National Bank, 201 N. Main St., New Carlisle 45344.