Three people, including two children, are dead following a head-on crash in Jefferson Township Sunday evening and deputies say they think it was from drunk driving.
The crash happened at the 5900 block of Germantown Pike, also know as Route Four, just after 7 p.m.
News Center 7′s Mike Campbell says it’s a flat stretch of road that investigators say not have led to fatal crash.
Campbell obtained 911 audio calls about Sunday night’s crash.
“It looked like a two-car crash, very bad,” one caller told dispatchers. “Air bags are deployed.”
“Nobody has gotten out, it is bad,” the caller continued. “It was high impact.”
Campbell reports 911 calls flooded into the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch and said two large SUVs collided head-on. Then, more chilling information, there were several badly injured children.
“There’s some children pinned in the car and it’s smashed up,” another caller said to dispatchers. “Can’t get the door open.”
Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies shut down the road and called in a half-dozen ambulances.
Campbell reports a 49-year-old man was driving an SUV with seven children inside between the ages of seven and 14, all part of his extended family. Investigators say the evidence a 43-year-old man alone in another SUV crossed the center line and smashed into them head-on.
“Investigators at the scene have probable cause to believe alcohol was a contributing factor to this crash,” said Major Jeremy Roy, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Roy told Campbell it is all hands on deck for this investigation since the fatal crash. The innocent 49-year-old man died at the scene, as did one of the children with him. Doctors pronounced another child deceased Dayton Children’s Hospital and two more children are in critical condition.
“It’s horrible for us to go through but still nothing compared to what this family is going through,” said Roy.
Investigators have not identified any of the victims involved and say the suspected at-fault driver is at the hospital. Deputies obtained a search warrant to test his blood and urine blood alcohol levels. They say he is under Montgomery County Sheriff’s supervision at the hospital as the investigation moves forward.
Campbell asked Roy if deputies have checked the suspect’s previous record.
“Yes,” he said. “There’s a history of OVI’s in his background, no doubt.”
Campbell also spoke with people that live along that road Monday where the head-on collision took place and knew right away something was terribly wrong.
“It sounded like something blew up,” said Debbie Hill.” I was just like, what was that?”
David Watson and others living along road all ran out of their homes to see what happened.
“It’s boom, boom, then thud, a thudding sound,” he said.”
They described smoke, crumpled vehicles and injured children.
“I saw a couple kids laying on the ground, one child kept trying to get up,” said Watson.
He dialed 911 and then tried to help children that were confused and in shock. He said one child kept trying to get back in his family’s SUV.
Watson tells Campbell he took three of the least injured children onto his porch and then, into his home.
“For a family to have to deal with this, for something that wasn’t necessary, is absolutely ridiculous,” said Roy. “In this day and age, there is no excuse for it, there’s enough that is out there to get you home safe.”
First responders and emergency workers are often immune to emotion at traumatic scenes but not in this case, according to Roy.
“When it involves kids, that is something different,” he told Campbell. “You cannot respond to that scene and see nothing but your own kids.”
Three children have been treated and released from the hospital. Investigators say there is no reason this fatal crash needed to happen with as many alternatives available to ensure safe trips homes for those who may be drinking.
The names of the seven children in this crash have not been released but are all part one of extended family, sheriff’s deputies say.