Cincinnati, OH Auto Crash Kills Six, Oct 1993


Cincinnati (AP) - Authorities were awaiting a coroner's findings today in the deaths of six people killed when a car crashed into a utility pole and burned.
Hamilton County sheriff's investigators have not determined where the driver and passengers were headed at 5 a.m. Sunday when the crash occurred in Green Township just west of Cincinnati, sheriff's Col. Dan Wolfangel said.
Wolfangel said he did not know when the coroner would complete the autopsies and toxicology investigation. Bob Lierman, spokesman for the Hamilton County coroner, was in a meeting and unavailable for comment this morning.
KEITH DOYLE, 19, of Crosby Township, was tentatively identified as the driver, sheriff's deputies said. The passengers were tentatively identified as JAMES WESSLER, 17, of Crosby Township, and KEVIN COLTER, 18; JAMES LUKEN, 18; AARON LEWIS, 20; and JAMES SMITH, 19, all of Whitewater Township.
Because of extensive burns, positive identification of the victims would be determined by dental records and a coroner's inquiry, sheriff's Officer Brian Watson said.
Harrison High School principal Carroll Roberts said COLTER, DOYLE, WESSLER and LEWIS had attended the school.
"I'll meet with the faculty and advise them of what had happened and that one of the boys who was killed has a younger brother at Harrison High School," Roberts said Sunday. "Then we'll go from there and decide what we want to do."
Tina Richardson, who lives near the crash site, said she was awakened by what sounded like a hubcap bouncing down the road. She called 911 while her husband Gary rushed to the accident scene.
She said he found the driver lying partly in the road, the car ablaze and flames shooting up 40 feet, burning leaves on a nearby tree.
The impact forced the car's engine into the front seat. The front wheels were missing, Ms. Richardson said. A foot-long splinter from the utility pole was found 30 feet down the road. Phone wires were draped over the road.
Shirley Pierani, a neighbor who heard the crash, said the car was so mangled and charred that she couldn't see its license plates.
"I kept praying the whole time that there was only one person in the car," she said.

Lancaster Eagle-Gazette Ohio 1993-10-04