Five people died in six crashes in the Miami Valley in the past week as Ohio heads into the busiest — and deadliest — months of traffic.
Known as the 100 deadliest days, the period from Memorial Day through Labor Day tends to see an increase crashes and fatalities with more people on the roads as schools let out for the summer and people go on vacation.
Last year, 69,595 crashes happened in Ohio during that period, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. It was a 7% decrease from the previous year. Of those crashes, 372 were fatal, which resulted in 402 deaths
“Memorial Day begins what is, unfortunately, the 100 deadliest days on the road. Working together, we can change that,” said Ohio State Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Charles Jones last week. “Focus on the road, buckle up, drive sober and obey the speed limit.”
Since Saturday, there have been at least five fatal crashes in the Miami Valley, resulting in the deaths of six people. Fatalities were reported in Darke, Miami, Montgomery and Warren counties, with two deadly crashes in Warren County and a double-fatal crash in Montgomery County. At least three of the people who died were teenagers.
On Saturday, Darke County sheriff’s deputies responded around 7:03 p.m. to a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Jaysville St. Johns and Hollansburg Sampson roads.
Marissa Portemont, a 17-year-old Greenville girl, was driving a Chevrolet Cobalt east on Hollansburg Sampson Road when she failed to yield at a stop sign, according to the sheriff’s office. A Ford F-150 going south on Jaysville St. Johns Road hit the Chevrolet.
The driver of the Ford and his passenger were treated at the scene. Portemont was taken to Wayne HealthCare, where she died of injuries, according to the sheriff’s office.
Her obituary described her as bubbly and a great sister who dreamed of becoming a traveling nurse. Portemont loved animals, camping and boating with her family and playing video games with friends.
Early Monday morning, a 17-year-old Lebanon boy died after a car crashed into a tree in Turtlecreek Twp.
Shawn Mitchell was driving a Honda Civic south on Hart Road when the car went off the left side of the road and hit a tree, according to OSHP. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mitchell was studying exercise science at the Warren County Career Center and was a former Lebanon High School student. He planned to join the U.S Air Force after graduating, according to his obituary. He loved weightlifting, exercise, gaming and music.
At about 4:14 p.m. Monday, troopers were dispatched to a motorcycle crash on Interstate 75 North in Miami County.
A Kettering man driving a Ford Explorer braked on the highway in Concord Twp. due to slowing traffic, according to the patrol. Donald Weddle, 48, of Sanderson, Florida, tried to swerve on his Harley Davidson Road Glide Custom 103 motorcycle to avoid the SUV, but hit the back of it, causing the motorcycle to overturn.
Weddle was flown to Miami Valley Hospital with life-threatening injuries. OSHP confirmed Thursday Weddle had succumbed to his injuries.
He was born in Dayton and was an avid motorcyclist, according to his obituary, which also said Weddle was a man of faith who loved his friends and family.
On Tuesday morning, OSHP responded to a two-vehicle crash on state Route 73 and Clarksville Road in Wayne Twp., Warren County.
A Kettering woman was driving a Nissan Quest north on Clarksville Road when she failed to yield at a stop sign and hit the left back tires of a Freightliner semi truck, according troopers.
A passenger in the Nissan, 16-year-old Samantha Anders, of Kettering, died at the scene. The driver of the Nissan had serious injuries. She was taken to Miami Valley Hospital North and then transferred to Miami Valley Hospital, where remained a patient as of Friday morning.
The crash closed state Route 73 in both directions between Corwin Road and Corwin Avenue as OSHP investigated.
Anders graduated from Ascension School in 2020 and was an incoming senior at Archbishop Carroll High School, according to a Facebook post from Ascension Church in Kettering.
Two people died Thursday in a semi truck crash on Interstate 75 North in Dayton after the semi went down an embankment and landed on its side.
Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger identified the deceased as 34-year-old Jason Loyer and 59-year-old Rickey Loyer, both of Ontario, Canada.
Dayton police East District Commander Lt. David Matthews said it wasn’t clear what led to the crash, but there appeared to be impact at the guardrail prior to the bridge over Stanley Avenue.
“He was on the bridge railing all the way across the bridge before he impacted on the other side,” he said.
The crash closed I-75 North and the Stanley Avenue ramp to I-75 North for approximately nine hours as crews investigated and cleared the scene.
Although this crash did not happen in the Miami Valley, a Harrison Twp. motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene of a Saturday afternoon crash in Monroe Twp., Clermont County.
Terry M. Aikins, 67, was riding his 2017 Moto Guzzi V9 Roamer motorcycle on Ohio 232 around 3:12 p.m. when he went off the right side of the road at a curve and struck a guardrail, according to the patrol’s Batavia Post.