Crash kills Bellevue teen

MILAN TWP. A Bellevue teen died Tuesday in the first fatal crash of the year in Erie County.
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



A Bellevue teen died Tuesday in the first fatal crash of the year in Erie County.

The two-vehicle crash occurred just before 9 a.m. at Strecker and Kelley roads in Milan Township. Passenger Dustin Bajerski, 17, was pronounced dead at the scene.

His mother, Lynne M. Wiley, 45, of Bellevue suffered non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Fisher-Titus Medical Center in Norwalk, where she remained in the intensive care unit Tuesday evening.

Wiley was heading north on Kelley Road and failed to yield at a stop sign, driving her Dodge sedan into a tractor-trailer heading west on Strecker Road, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers. She was taking her son to class at EHOVE.

Her vehicle spun off the road, striking a utility pole. The truck spun off the road as well, striking a different pole and breaking the top half off.

The driver of the truck, Mark Zeiter, 43, of Collins, Ohio, was treated at Fisher-Titus Medical Center and released.

The families of Bajerski and Wiley could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The family's pet, a German Shepherd named Harley, was injured in the accident and was taken to Firelands Animal Hospital for care, according to Barb Knapp, Erie County Dog warden.

Carol Zeiter of Zeiter's Trucking Inc. in Norwalk said her son Mark Zeiter, a truck driver for 20 years, was heading to Wagner Quarry to pick up a load of stone when the accident occurred.

"I've been trying to hold the fort here," she said Tuesday afternoon from the family business. "I'm anxious to see him. I just feel bad for the other family.

"He's doing well," she said. "We think he's going to be OK."

Rick Bobel was working at a farm near the scene of the accident Tuesday morning.

"I came out and noticed a few emergency vehicles around," he said. "This is a popular road for kids to go to EHOVE. This is a pretty dangerous intersection, because there is a lot of truck traffic."

The farm was one of 46 customers to lose power, according to Gary Mortus, Ohio Edison area manager. The broken utility pole was replaced about 2 p.m. Tuesday, and power was returned to customers, he said.

While a misty rain and fog were present Tuesday morning, road conditions did not play a role in the crash, according to troopers.

Hydraulic fluid from the truck leaked into the ditch and nearby catch basin. Bill Walker, Erie County Emergency Management Agency director, was at the scene coordinating cleanup with the trucking company and Spill Tech Inc.

No citations have been issued yet. In addition to troopers, Milan Township fire department, Erie County sheriff's deputies and North Central EMS workers responded to the scene.

The last fatality at that intersection was in 2002.

Arrangements for Dustin Bajerski are being made at Foos & Son Funeral Home in Bellevue.