A mother and her young daughter died and a teen is hospitalized in critical condition as the result of a four-vehicle crash Monday night on SR 134 in Clinton County.
The Wilmington Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the accident, which occurred at approximately 9:30 p.m. on SR 134 near a National Weather Service facility.
A preliminary investigation reveals that a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier, operated by a 16-year-old male from Martinsville, was traveling southbound on SR 134 when it attempted to pass a 2013 Chevrolet Equinox driven by 63-year-old Daniel Mayo of New Vienna, according to the OSHP.
The Cavalier then struck the Equinox from behind, went left of center, and struck a northbound 2002 Buick Century head-on. The Buick Century was driven by Zachary Russell, 24, of Wilmington.
The Cavalier was then struck by a second northbound vehicle, a 2000 Ford Taurus driven by Kyler Gaddis, 22, of Wilmington.
The Cavalier then caught fire and was completely engulfed in flames, the state patrol reported.
The driver of the Cavalier was transported to Miami Valley Hospital by CareFlight.
The two passengers in that car, Wendy Brewer, 20, of Wilmington, and her daughter, Arialla Brewer, 14 months, were pronounced deceased at the scene by the Clinton County Coroner’s Office.
Wendy Brewer is survived by children ages 3 and 2, according to information on her Facebook page.
The driver of the Cavalier is in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital, the hospital confirmed early Tuesday afternoon. Because he is a juvenile and was not identified by the OSHP, The Times-Gazette is not using his name.
Dan Mayo, the driver of the Equinox that was initially struck in the accident, was returning home from delivering food to the homeless shelter that was left over from the annual Clinton County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner that he had just attended. Mayo is pastor of the New Vienna Community Church.
“Our hearts grieve for the families of those who lost their lives and for all who were involved in this accident,” he said. “We are so grateful for the great work of the sheriff’s department, the State Highway Patrol and all of those who were on the scene to help. We are also truly grateful for a loving and caring community that is helping us through this tragedy. Our prayers for physical, emotional and spiritual healing are with all the families impacted. It is still surreal for us, but we will strive to continue carrying on the work God has given us to do and thank Him for continued opportunities to serve Him in all ways.”
Zachary Russell was transported to Clinton Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. No other injuries were reported.
Alcohol or drug use are unknown at this time and the crash remains under investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, which reported late Tuesday morning that no new information was available.
Tom Barr is the editor of the Wilmington News Journal, a division of AIM Media Midwest.