ALEXANDRIA, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State Highway Patrol accident reconstruction specialists were working Friday at the scene of a horrific high-speed crash that killed three teenagers and left two others hospitalized.
On Thursday night, residents of the village of Johnstown, east of Columbus, gathered for a candlelight vigil to remember the three teenagers who died. All were in the back seat of the 2003 Mitsubishi Diamante, which was torn in half by the high-speed crash at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday on a rural Licking County road.
The patrol said the victims were 17-year-old Michael Hoskinson, 15-year-old Linzie Bell and 15-year-old Cheyenne Spurgeon, all of Johnstown. No one in the car was wearing a seatbelt.
The driver, 16-year-old Jaylynn Rigio, and the front-seat passenger, 16-year-old Ashton Cody, also both of Johnstown, were taken to Columbus hospitals.
Rigio was in critical condition, and Cody was listed as stable, patrol spokesman Sgt. Russell Pasqualetti said Friday.
The Columbus Dispatch reported that the five friends were on the way to swim at a nearby Licking County creek.
The teens shouldn’t have all been in the car together. Ohio law prohibits a 16-year-old driver from transporting more than one passenger unless a parent is in the vehicle.
Pasqualetti said the patrol will work with the county prosecutor’s office to determine if any charges should be filed.
“This is a very tight-knit community,” Johnstown-Monroe schools superintendent Dale Dickson told the Dispatch. “It’s hit everybody very hard.”