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Fiery crash sends 4 to hospitals



Published: Sat, January 15, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Two helicopters were called to the scene.

SOUTHINGTON -- Four people, including a young child, were rushed to two area hospitals late Friday after a fiery head-on accident between a truck and a Jeep Cherokee on state Route 305, authorities said.

The wreck was reported at 9:14 p.m. between Painesville Warren Road and Hoffman Norton Road, said Roger Laird, supervisor with the Trumbull County Sheriff's Department dispatch center.

Authorities received an initial call of a head-on crash and a vehicle on fire, Laird said. Minutes later, motorists called in to report that there were children trapped in the burning van, he said.

Rescue operation

A Jaws of Life was dispatched to the scene and officials worked for 30 minutes to rescue both drivers from their vehicles, said Southington Fire Department Fire Chief Tom Strock.

Two helicopters from Youngstown and Greenville were called to evacuate both drivers, who were flown to St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown. The other two victims were taken by ambulance to St. Joseph Health Center in Warren, Laird said.

The box truck had only a driver while a man, woman and child were in the Jeep Cherokee, said Sgt. Mike Harmon with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The woman initially told authorities that another of her children was with her, and that triggered a search with night-imaging equipment for a 2-year-old who was thought to be ejected from the Jeep. That search was quickly called off when the woman told authorities her other child was not in the Jeep, Harmon said.

In addition to the helicopters, a trio of ambulances arrived at the scene, one from Southington and the others from Warren and Champion, as well as two rescue trucks and a firetruck, Laird said.

"The Cherokee was on fire, but we don't know if there were any type of burn injuries," Harmon said at press time.

The extent of the injuries were not available at press time.




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