UPDATE: Driver charged with vehicular homicide

Fatality driver's speed estimated at 125 mph. Multiple calls from Turnpike motorists preceded fatal crash.
Associated Press
Nov 29, 2013

UPDATE 1 p.m. — Victims of a fiery crash Thursday evening have been identified.

Wilbur and Margaret McCoy, both 77, of Stateline Road in Toledo died. 

Andrew Gans was just charged with two counts of vehicular homicide. Once released from the hospital he will be taken to Lucas County Jail. 

UPDATE 12:15 p.m. — Two people killed Thursday by a driver who was traveling about 125 mph before a crash that engulfed a minivan have been positively identified, State Patrol spokeswoman Lt. Anne Ralston said. 

The names of the victims have not been released pending notification of the families, she said. The commander of the Milan Post of the Highway Patrol is in the process of making those notifications, she said. 

The driver of the speeding vehicle escaped his car after striking the minivan and careening off the roadway. He was transported to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, where he gave a voluntary statement to investigators. A blood sample also was obtained from the driver, Ralston said. 

"We're working closely with the Sandusky County Prosecutor regarding this incident and expect to have information about possible charges in relation to the death of those two people," she said. 

The vehicle sped past a Patrol trooper who was also westbound on the Turnpike shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday and did not stop after the trooper engaged the lights and siren on the cruiser. The first trooper was unable to catch up to the vehicle and lost sight of it shortly after it sped past. A second Patrol trooper traveling in the eastbound lanes was able to access a crossover at the medium of the Turnpike at about the 107 mile marker, but it also was unable to pursue the vehicle, Ralston said. 

"An initial media report suggested there was a chase but that wasn't the case," she said. 

The first Patrol officer who arrived on the scene used a Patrol issued fire extinguisher in an attempt to douse the flames and rescue the two people who were in the minivan, Ralston said. A tractor-trailer driver who also had a fire extinguisher  assisted but they were unable to save the occupant of the vehicle. 

The driver of the Infinity escaped the vehicle and was later admitted at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center for psychiatric evaluation, Ralston said. 

UPDATE 6:15 a.m. — The Ohio State Patrol provided the following news release this morning: 

The Milan Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is currently investigating a two vehicle fatal crash that occurred on the Ohio Turnpike at the 89.1 mile marker westbound. The crash occurred on Thursday at about 7:18 pm in Rice Township, Sandusky County.

A 2013 Infinity M56 caught on fire and sustained severe damage as a result of the crash. It was removed from the scene by Madison’s Towing. The driver, Andrew D. Gans, 24, from Kent Ohio. Mr. Gans was transported by Sandusky Township EMS to Saint Vincent’s Medical Center in Toledo. Due to severe fire damage it is currently unknown if Mr. Gans was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

The second vehicle, a 2009 Chrysler Town and Country, also caught on fire and sustained severe damage as a result of the crash. It was also removed by Madison’s Towing. Two unidentified occupants in the minivan were killed.  

Both vehicles were westbound on the Ohio Turnpike. Gans, the driver of the Infinity, was traveling at a high rate of speed when he failed to maintain assured clear distance ahead and struck the minivan from behind, and then ran off the right side of the road and caught on fire just after the driver was able to exit his vehicle. The minivan came to rest in the center lane where it caught on fire with the two occupants still in the vehicle. The two occupants were unable to escape the vehicle.

Sandusky Township EMS, Sandusky Township Fire Department, Turnpike Incident Response, The Sandusky County Prosecutor, The Sandusky County Coroner, and Madison’s Towing assisted at the scene.

The crash is currently under investigation, and alcohol use is unknown at this time.

Original post 6 a.m. — The Ohio State Highway Patrol said the occupants in the van were killed, but the number of victims was unknown. The 24-year-old man driving the speeding vehicle was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Police say the speeding vehicle hit at least three other vehicles over 17 miles around 7:15 p.m., according to a report from WTOL-TV. 

All three westbound lanes of the highway near mile marker 89 are shutdown.

Authorities recommend that motorists exit at Exit 110 and take Route 4 north to State Route 2 or south to U.S. 20 to continue west.

 

Comments

Simple Enough II

How tragic.

2cents's picture
2cents

http://www.toledoblade.com/local...

Too bad the kid was able to get out, he should have suffered the same ungodly painful death he gave to those people in the van!

Unassumer

It's more than tragic and should never have happened. People don't think these days. They just act and it affects others in very negative ways. There are many things in our society that are rather uncivilized and this complete disregard for others is one of them.

samiam

How sad that the innocent people were the ones killed. Cleveland Channel 3 news stated the car was driving at 150 mph at times.

formeremployee

"Police say the speeding vehicle hit at least three other vehicles over 17 miles"

That is interesting in itself.

A 24 year old driving a 2013 Infinity is also interesting. That car is in the 60K price range.

I sure hope the SR keeps us posted on the outcome.

My prayers go out to the family of the deceased.

I wonder why the headline says that they were being chased but there was no mention of a pursuit in the press release.

2cents's picture
2cents

Updated:

"He was traveling that fast," said Sgt. Matt Davis, who added that patrol cars, which can typically travel at up to 130 mph, couldn't get close to the speeding car."

Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/local...

grandmasgirl

Why are drivers like the 24 year old not treated as if they had a loaded gun in their hands and killed someone. Just like the men who killed the woman in Bellevue. She is gone and they are out and living their lives. People who drive with such disregard of other people need to be put away for life not for just a few years. There are accidents and then there is murder.

jager5

Very well put! My prayers go to the family of this horrific holiday accident/murder. 150 mph (toll road on a holiday) = murder, murder, murder, murder!

Ben Crazy

Was the chase worth 2 lives?? Better to let em get away u think ?

nightroller's picture
nightroller

The kid did not even know the cops were after him because they were so far behind .....

gene44870

The thing I can not understand , is why the state potroll did not call ahead and have other law enforcements departments contacted and give them information on the car and disregard the pursuit . Someone ahead could have spotted the car and prevented this from happening .The State Potrol should be held responsable as well .
I am not saying the out come would have been any different , but then who knows for sure? NO ONE

2cents's picture
2cents

The report said this happened over 7 miles, at 130 MPH that equates to 3.23 minuets to do anything. That car is capable of 160 MPH I believe! Who's car was it? At 24 either spoiled rich kid, stolen or parents car. His life is over on this one and it is too bad he did not get killed as well for that action.

bnjjad

I have a similar car. I am the same age. Bought myself with no help from parents. I also have my own house. That has nothing to do with it.

FlyBoy86

I am the same way, +1.

Unassumer

The state PATROL is not responsible and probably did call ahead. They have to drive with regard to all other vehicles on the road while still trying to get a crazy driver off the road. He most likely crashed before other responding officers ahead could even get there. This is no one's fault but the driver of the speeding car.

Centauri

I wasn't going to post any further comments here but I had to for the sake of the family and friends of the two victims. I have read other online news stories about this tragic event.

I hope that the hospital and Ohio LE tested this dangerous and reckless POS for COCAINE and other drugs that would cause a driver to drive in excess of 125mph+, hit three other vehicles and continue at high speeds before hitting this mini-van.

http://drugdrive.direct.gov.uk/c...
"Cocaine leads to a sense of over confidence and this is reflected in driving style. Users typically perform higher risk, more aggressive manoeuvres at greater speeds, which is obviously dangerous."

http://www.thelocal.de/20120816/...
"Terrified Berlin bus passengers who clung to their seats during a hair-raising race through the city until police stopped the vehicle were not surprised to hear their driver was high on cocaine."

My condolences go out to the family and friends of the two victims.

There are other tragic high speed crashes where the driver was tested positive for Cocaine and other drugs that caused reckless high speed driving such as this.

Unassumer

They always test for alcohol and any type of drugs.

Centauri

Are you sure? How about that fiery crash in Bellevue, OHIO that took the life of a young woman? Was the driver tested for Cocaine? Hospitals make mistakes all of the time. How about that Toledo, OHIO hospital that threw away a viable kidney that a brother gave for his sister? Mistakes happen and some things get overlooked.

starryeyes83

This is why these kind of lowlifes should get the death penalty.

He had a deadly weapon in his hands -- it just didn't shoot bullets.

samiam

According to witnesses quoted in the Toledo Blade article, the speeder was weaving in and out of traffic. At that speed, that's a catastrophe waiting to happen. We saw two LE vehicles traveling eastbound about a minute or two apart but passed the accident scene just minutes before it occured.

Darwin's choice

Charge him with 2 counts of murder. And fry him!

2cents's picture
2cents

My thoughts and prayers to the McCoy family :(

topcop1991

I pray for the victims that were doing nothing wrong when struck from behind by this selfish out of control driver. I say selfish, as he was driving with no regard to anyone else's safety. As for the troopers, it was not a chase, as he had already blown by them and had no regular contact with their following cruisers.

Smoke

These new cars lock the doors when you put the car in gear.In a crash you are trapped in a burning death trap.

starryeyes83

Sounds like a faulty design that makes it worse. Car makers should re-eval that one.

2cents's picture
2cents