Five hurt in Danbury crash

DANBURY TWP. Two vehicles sandwiched a 1996 Buick in a crash on Ohio 163 late Thursday morning, inju
Sarah Weber
May 24, 2010



Two vehicles sandwiched a 1996 Buick in a crash on Ohio 163 late Thursday morning, injuring five people.

Officers from Ohio State Highway Patrol are investigating the accident, which occurred at about 11:30 a.m. at the intersection of Ohio 163 and Sunnydale Road.

According to officers, Theresa M. Chaffin, 43, of Marblehead, and John S. Sterba, 84, of North Olmsted, both driving 1996 Buick Cierras, were stopped in the westbound lane when a 2002 Cavalier driven by Amanda L. Metcalf, 23, of Norwalk failed to stop and slammed into the back of Sterba's car, causing it to hit Chaffin's.

Bryon Wohler, an employee at Marine City, said he witnessed the wreck.

Wohler said he was on a tractor in the eastbound lane, trying to make a left turn into Marine City's parking lot.

He said Chaffin's car was stopped in the westbound lane, trying to turn left onto Sunnydale Road. He said there was a line of cars behind him, preventing the woman from turning. He said Sterba's car was stopped behind Chaffin's car.

"Then this little red car came flying up and didn't see any of it and ran right into them," he said.

He said someone else called 911, but he went to the cars to tell the passengers to stay still until emergency personnel arrived.

Danbury Township, Lakeside, and Catawba Island Township fire and EMS departments responded to the crash with Danbury Township police and troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Two Life Flight helicopters arrived on the scene and airlifted Rebecca A. Mowel, 16, of Clyde, a passenger in Chaffin's car, and Sterba to the St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. Metcalf and Chaffin sustained incapacitating injuries, officers said, and were taken to Magruder Hospital by ambulance.

As the second helicopter left the scene, it flew past a line of cars backed up for more than a half-mile in the eastbound lane. Traffic was stopped until shortly after 1 p.m., when employees from Don's Towing, Ken's Towing and Bus's Towing were able to clear the crumpled cars.

A passenger in Chaffin's car, Kenny S. Kerik, 7, of Marblehead sustained minor injuries and was also taken to Magruder Hospital.

Officers said the crash is still under investigation and no citations have been issued. They said alcohol and drugs are not believed to have been factors.

Staff at St. Vincent said Mowel and Sterba were both in fair condition Thursday night. Staff at Magruder Hospital said they did not know the status of Metcalf and Chaffin, and said the women were not admitted.

Wohler, who lives in Marblehead, said there are a number of crashes along that stretch of Ohio 163 each year.

"People don't pay attention to tractors and people pulling boat trailers," Wohler said. "They just get impatient and start passing."