Three teenagers were killed and three others were seriously injured when their pickup truck crashed into a tree along a curvy, southwest Ohio road, police said Sunday. All six were apparently schoolmates.
Officers weren’t sure what caused the crash, which was reported about 12:30 a.m. by a caller not involved in the wreck, said police Sgt. Mark White of Sugarcreek Township, outside Dayton. Three girls — ages 14, 16 and 17 — died at the crash site.
A 17-year-old girl who was riding in the back seat with them was hospitalized in critical condition Sunday, White said. The 17-year-old driver and an 18-year-old boy who’d been with him in the front of the truck were in stable condition, the sergeant said.
Police said they didn’t know where the students were headed from or to, whether they were wearing seatbelts and whether alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash. It happened on a curvy, hilly road where the speed limit is 45 mph.
“It can be treacherous at times, especially when speed is a factor,” White said.
Police identified the teens who died as Sophie Kerrigan, 17, Skylar Kooken, 16, and Julianna Hawk, 14, all of Sugarcreek Township. The names of the injured weren’t released.
The six teens apparently were from the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek school district, where a Sunday evening vigil was planned at the high school.
The school and district phones rang unanswered Sunday, and the high school principal didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Because of the victims’ ages, White said it’s been particularly difficult to deal with the crash. It’s “maybe not one of the worst ones, but maybe the one that’s probably the toughest in terms of pulling at your heartstrings because they are three individuals here who never attained the age of 18 that have now lost their lives,” White said.
The crash remained under investigation; no charges had been filed.