Two dead in head-on crash

Wrong-way driver causes collision on U.S. 6/U.S. 20 bypass north of Fremont.
Shawn Foucher
Dec 24, 2013

Alcohol may have played a role in a double-fatal crash Monday night involving a wrong-way driver on the U.S. 6/U.S. 20 bypass just north of Fremont.   

The two drivers involved — Evelyn Hunt, 57, of Fremont, and wrong-way driver Charles Starks, 61, also of Fremont — died at the scene.   

A passenger in Hunt's vehicle, Zackary Zimmerman, 15, of Fremont, was taken by ambulance to Fremont Memorial Hospital, where he's being treated for serious injuries, troopers at the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Fremont post said.

More photos of the scene are HERE

Dispatchers began receiving calls at 7:22 p.m. about a vehicle headed east in the westbound lanes of the U.S. 6 bypass around Fremont. Troopers and Sandusky County deputies headed to the area and came upon the crash, troopers said.

They quickly shut down the westbound lanes of the bypass, which remained closed until about 10:40 p.m.

Starks was driving a 2013 Kia Optima east in the westbound lanes when his vehicle struck Hunt's oncoming 2007 Dodge Dakota pickup, troopers aid. 

Both vehicles were heavily damaged on impact, with the pickup coming to rest on the north side of the bypass and the Kia coming to rest on the grass median. A knot of troopers, deputies and firefighters from the Sandusky County area worked for hours in sub-freezing temperatures to clear the scene.

Traffic was reduced to a slow creep in the eastbound lanes, meanwhile, and throngs of people parked their cars at the nearby Heinz Drive to watch as emergency crews cleared the wreckage.

The crash remains under investigation, although troopers said alcohol may have played a role.

The Highway Patrol was assisted at the scene by its crash reconstruction specialists, as well as Sandusky County deputies, Fremont police, the Sandusky County coroner's office, Sandusky County Life Squad 17, Sandusky County firefighters and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Comments

Shrekone

Thoughts and prayers go out to the families involved.

SamAdams

What a horror story! Deepest sympathies to the families, and best wishes for recovery for Zackary Zimmerman (I looked at the photos, and it's a virtual miracle that ANYBODY in that truck survived!).

It's tempting to suggest that, if alcohol was, indeed, involved, Stark only got what he deserved. But the Hunt and Zimmerman families sure didn't ask for this, nor did Mr. Stark's surviving family! What an awful way to emphasize that holiday celebrations need to be RESPONSIBLE! Use a designated driver. Take a cab. SLEEP IT OFF! Just don't get behind the wheel if you've been drinking. It's not just about YOU, it's about everybody else whose lives you'll touch in a truly horrific way! And honestly, is ANY good time, no matter HOW much fun, worth THIS???

toredown11

Couldn't agree more.

Please people, keep the keys out of the hands of your friends and family members that may have had too much to drink (we've all had friends that say, "No, I'm fine to drive"). In this case, it's definitely better to be safe than sorry.

My sympathies to the families involved.

candleburner

Sam, I understand what you're saying about Mr. Stark but no one - even someone that was drinking and driving - deserves to die for their actions. Sitting in a jail cell over the holiday away from their family would be a better penalty in my opinion over death. Now these families are grieving over the holidays and will look back at this holiday with sadness instead of joy. My heart goes out to the families as they deal with the aftermath of this incident.

SamAdams

I said it's TEMPTING to suggest he got what he deserved! But that's largely because he killed somebody else. In general, you're right: DUI shouldn't be a capital crime. Unfortunately, it often is, and it's frequently not even the man (or the woman) who committed the crime that dies! Yes, DUI doesn't warrant the death penalty. At the same time, isn't it past time everybody who drinks on occasion got the idea that that's exactly the punishment that's sometimes imposed?

P.S. This isn't the story of a driver who was slightly impaired and lost control due to speed or road conditions. No, it's a driver who was SO impaired he was going the wrong way on a divided highway! In cases like that, it's not a question of whether or not the driver will make it home safely. The only variable is how many people he'll take with him when he DOESN'T make it home safely!

Doug7880

Wow look a story with out the pics. now you can delete the story with all the pics Mr. Werling now you can see that you have a reporter that can tell a story without hurting the family even more. 22 photos is way tooooo many. Now to take the hyperlink out that takes you to the pics. Come on you can do it. Lets give the family just a tad more respect. Be a man with just a little respect. Thank you Shawn Foucher for an story and showing some respect.

SamAdams

Sorry, Doug, but news is news, even when it's bad. Those wrecked vehicles and the emergency crews on scene tell an important story. They also serve a critical public service to those who need such reminders.

I won't argue that loved ones directly involved might find them difficult to see. I respectfully suggest they don't look. In fact, that The Register has elected to put a link to the photos in the article instead of the photos themselves shows a good deal of sensitivity on the part of the editors!

It's not a matter of respect. It's a matter of responsibility! After all, if respect were the name of the game, none of us would hear anything bad about ANYbody!

Doug7880

Well I guess with your thoughts then if the news is the news why were the bodies not shown in the cars. Your logic don't float. They need to show some respect that's all I am saying. I think the family could use some it's hard enough for them.

SamAdams

The bodies weren't shown for the same reasons obscene graffiti is blocked out or nudity is blurred/blocked: It's considered inappropriate for some viewers. News outlets tend to keep things PG-rated at worst. I'm not complaining since I know children do see the news (and school children are sometimes ASSIGNED to see the news). That standard is just a bonus for super-sensitive adults.

Doug7880

so you think 22 pictures of this was a good thing? I myself think it's a shame and just plain not right.

SamAdams

"Good thing?" No. But not a bad thing, either. It is what it is. And, like it or not, what it is is NEWS.

Doug7880

The news is a good reporter telling in words. I think you would see it another way if you looked at it as one of your family members.

Gardenman

I think that Sam Adams is correct. No matter how devastating this is there is nothing that can be done to bring back the lives here. What can be done is show how tragic and terrible this can be and hopefully prevent a repeat of this. Showing the pics is no different than law enforcement pulling a wrecked vehicle into a high school stadium and using it as a back drop when they talk to high schoolers about drinking and driving. No different than what we have seen at a high school.....a demolished vehicle sitting at the entrance to the student parking lot. It sends a vivid image to students what can happen and did happen here.

OSP for many years produced a movie called "Signal 30" which is their radio code for an accident with at least one fatality. They showed it to high schoolers just getting their license. They could opt out of watching if they wished but few did. When it was over room was always totally quiet for a long time and in many cases some students were crying. If all that saved one life it was worth it. In this case I believe the SR maybe saving lives as well.

I have a friend who for many years was an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper. He said no matter how many accidents with a death he saw it never was routine for him. Said each one hit him hard for days after. Said the worst part was having to go to a victim's residence and tell the family their loved one had been killed in an accident.

sugar

Rt 6 is a death trap. I do not use that road unless there is no alternative.

Doug7880

Sugar this was not on rt 6 it was on rt 20 where the speed was raised to 65.

grandmasgirl

Speed had nothing to do with this accident. It was caused by a drunk driver who lived close enough to the accident site that if he wasn't impaired he would never have driven in the wrong lane. I live with a person who has paid for 40 years because someone chose to drink and drive. She was a teenager when it happened and is still paying for it while the drunk driver got off easy by being killed. You will get no sympathy from me for drunk drivers. They get what they deserve. It is the families of the victims who suffer.

Doug7880

your right gradmasgirl speed was not a factor in this one, but I drive that every day and that area with as many on and off ramps and don't need 65 mph. Way to fast for that area I have seen too many close calls just in the time of the increase. The trucks will not move over to let someone in. It's just a matter of time.

Simple Enough II

Doug, I disagree, I think the person driving a company pick up with a cellphone to one ear and a coffee in his hand while getting on the bypass west bound from rt. 6 is more dangerous than 65mph, this moron doesn't look to try & gauge his speed to blend with traffic one bit. That is just one "jackwagon" I deal with on the bypass.

Doug7880

just to chime in on the last of your comment you are correct they do but both sides, families feel the pain because of very poor judgement of just one.

nosey rosey

Silly to blame the speed limit or the ramps. Place blame where it belongs with a driver who did not obey basic traffic laws and for whatever reason, didn't read the road signs. I don't believe alcohol has been proven yet.

bigbirdblue

Wow prayers go out to the family! But my other thought is the sandusky m.e office gonna rule it a sucide so he can go party????

bigbirdblue

Wow prayers go out to the family! But my other thought is the sandusky m.e office gonna rule it a sucide so he can go party????

Jmschmidt812

Move on already. That's old news so are your comments when it comes to sandusky county. They are 2 different things, so your comment has no relevance.

The Rudy

Does Sandusky have a medical examiner? What would that have to do with a tragedy in Fremont?
I see this Starks fellow had a DUI in 2000?

red white and blue

As far as the pictures there are a lot of them.But look at it this way maybe someone will see how bad this was and it will stick with them enougb to deture them from drinking and driving

Commenter

agreed

andrew43420

i have know mr.starks since i was little and i am very shocked about this, the thing that shocks me the most is the report saying he could have been drunk, i have never known him to drink, i have heard of times when he would have war flash backs, now i am not saying he did or anything, i just think people including the state patrol should hold off on saying alcohol could have been a factor until it is known for sure, say he wasn't it is very hurtful for the family to see him judged like that, as for Ms.Hunt she was well known and liked in the community it sounds as thought both where very loving grandparents and will be missed by many i asked that everyone join me as i pray for both families and hold off on your judgement until the facts are released

Simple Enough II

Then Please explain his DUI arrest in 2000? Maybe his felony assualt reduced to aggravated assault?

http://www.textdata.com:81/cgi/p...

Also could you explain the flashbacks are though he did serve in the army, he was in Germany not Southeast Asia as in Vietnam (per his obit).

andrew43420

(Maybe his felony assualt reduced to aggravated assault?) what the hell does this have to do with anything? i never once said the guy was perfect and if you go back and re read what i wrote (i just think people including the state patrol should hold off on saying alcohol could have been a factor until it is known for sure) i am not sure if he was drinking or not i wasnt there i dont know for certain. as for flash backs i cant explain neither can his family but i know he had them i am not sure if he saw combat or not, also love the fact you did a public records search on this man glad to see you have so much free time on your hands.