Two Salem children were killed Sunday in a three-vehicle traffic accident on state Route 800 that left four dead and two injured.
The accident, which witnesses described as “horrific,” occurred shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday between 53rd Street and Ridge Avenue SE. A 2006 Ford Explorer was traveling northbound on State Route 800 when it went left-of-center, striking two southbound vehicles, said Lt. Eric Sheppard of the Ohio Highway Patrol’s Canton post.
Three of the four victims were pronounced dead at the scene. All died as the result of traumatic head and trunk injuries, according to Harry Campbell, Stark County Coroner’s office investigator. They are:
Kira Goudy, 5, of 29882 Carey Road, Salem, was the right, rear passenger in the Mercury Grand Marquis. She was ejected, striking a guardrail.
Kira’s brother, 8-year-old Alex Goudy, also of Salem, was pulled from the left, rear side of the Mercury Grand Marquis by Canton Township Fire & Rescue. He was transported to Canton’s Aultman Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly before 3 p.m.
Jackson Township resident Peter C. Mingo, 83, of 5202 Everhard Rd. NW, who was driving the Ford Explorer. He was partially ejected from his vehicle.
Plain Township resident Bruce M. Goudy, 61, of 2695 Aspen St. NE, was the front passenger of a 1987 Mercury Grand Marquis. He was ejected onto the roadway.
Jason T. Goudy, 28, of 2695 Aspen St. NE, was driving the Mercury Grand Marquis, which was cut in half by Mingo’s Explorer. Jason Goudy was transported to Aultman Hospital. Highway Patrol troopers said he was treated for nonlife-threatening injuries.
Kira and Alex Goudy are related to Jason Goudy, but he is not their father.
A Perry Township woman, 61-year-old Bonnie K. Hawvermale of 303 Westland Ave. SW, was driving the third vehicle involved in the crash, a 2003 Jeep Liberty. Hawvermale also was transported to Aultman, where she was treated for nonlife-threatening injuries.
Alvin Bailey and Andrew Baker of New Philadelphia came upon the collision while on their way home from Toledo. The two men are members of the U.S. Army National Guard and responded to the injured victims before emergency personnel arrived at the scene.
“We tried to keep people calm and do what we could,” Bailey said. “We are trained for emergency situations, but this, well, we did the best we could.”
Bailey said they focused on keeping Jason Goudy, who had climbed out of his car following the crash, calm.
Witnesses at the scene, including Ron and Helen Moore, said they heard what sounded like a “gunshot” and “an explosion” when the accident occurred. The couple said they rushed to the phone in their Ridge Avenue SE home to call paramedics.
Richard McNamara and his daughter, Melissa, were visiting relatives on Dunfred Circle SE when they heard the crash. They ran to the scene.
“We could hear a lady screaming when we came over the hill,” said 19-year-old Melissa McNamara, who went back to the home on Dunfred to get blankets for the injured.
“I’ve never seen anything this bad,” said Richard. McNamara.
Shortly before the crash occurred, the Ohio Highway Patrol received a report of an erratic driver, who is believed to be Mingo, traveling northbound on State Route 800, Lt. Sheppard said.
But whether Mingo was suffering from a health issue at the time of the crash is unknown. Campbell said the coroner’s office will perform an autopsy on Mingo.
Alcohol or drugs have not been determined to be a factor in the collision, Sheppard said. Safety belts and child restraints were in use by all involved, except for Mingo.
The crash remains under investigation by the Ohio Highway Patrol.