LIBERTY TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – An accident on Interstate 80 in Liberty Township killed a young teenage girl Friday evening.
Ohio State Highway Patrol said an SUV, driven by a middle-aged woman and carrying two teenage girls, went off the left side of I-80 eastbound near mile marker 231. When the driver swerved back onto the road, the SUV hit a semi truck and rolled over several times, coming to a stop on its side around 6 p.m.
According to Sharon Superintendent Mike Calla, both of the girls had just finished their freshman year at the high school. He also said the driver was one of their mothers. Highway Patrol has not yet identified them.
“I was half a mile back when on the other side of the road…I actually saw it go up into the air and flip several times. I saw the glass…everywhere. I saw the smoke,” Jared Stump said. “All three were ejected from the vehicle. Two were lying in the median and one was running around on the highway, delirious, cut up and bloody.”
He and several others immediately ran to help.
“It’s like you don’t even really realize what’s happening and then running to the scene, and you see two bodies laying in the ditch, and it’s surreal,” he said. “We performed CPR on the other two and unfortunately, one of them passed away.”
One of the teenage girls in the SUV was killed, according to Highway Patrol. The other two were taken to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.
A separate crash on I-80 westbound happened shortly afterwards.
Traffic was backed up and Highway Patrol said a vehicle’s brakes locked up after the driver slammed them, sending the vehicle into a median. The vehicle caused minor damage to a pickup truck parked on the side of the road, but no one was injured.
As of 7:20 p.m., I-80 eastbound was down to one lane and traffic was heavy.
Stump says Friday’s accident should remind everyone to keep things in perspective.
“I don’t even have words, no answers for something like this. I mean, when I got out of my car, there’s three people there and then I see one pass away in front of me…it just makes you appreciate life, appreciate your friends and your family,” he said. “I would just encourage people to make the most of every moment and make their life matter. Make it count.”
Calla said the district will have counselors available from 9 to 11 a.m. at the high school.