Vigil held for victims in fatal Springfield Twp. crash


Vigil held for victims in fatal Springfield Twp. crash

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Marshall Gorby
State troopers are investigating a single-car accident that killed three teenagers on Ridge Road in Springfield Twp. on Wednesday morning, March 26, 2014. Troopers said speed may have been a factor in the accident that killed Wesley Culpepper, 15, Daniel Tittle, 17, and Charles Luthe, 16.

Three teenagers killed Wednesday morning in a crash on Ridge Road in Springfield Twp. were remembered at a vigil Wednesday evening.

Wesley Culpepper, 15 and of Huber Heights; Daniel Tittle, 17, of Medway and Charles Luthe, 16, of Springfield, died in the crash, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol. All three were students at Tecumseh High School, according to friends and school district officials.

The patrol said speed was a factor in the single-vehicle crash that occurred at about 6 a.m. in the 2100 block of Ridge Road. The Hyundai left the road and struck a tree, which cleaved the vehicle in two, according to the patrol.

Wednesday evening, dozens of classmates, friends and others gathered at the Future Farmers of America barn, behind the high school, to honor the students. Reporters and cameras were kept away from the gathering.

At the scene, in the immediate aftermath of the accident, Lt. Brian Aller, commander of the patrol's Springfield post, called the accident one of the worst he's seen.

"I've seen some bad crashes, but to have the vehicle split the way it is, it definitely involves high speed and just some very careless, reckless driving," Aller said.

He said the patrol would have evidence crews and accident reconstruction crews working the scene to provide more details about what happened and to determine who was driving. Aller said he didn't know where the victims were going.

Wednesday night, officials with the patrol said it would be days -- perhaps weeks -- before investigators would have any definitive answers.

Initially, the patrol said confirmed two people died in the crash. One person was ejected. the other two victims were found in the wreckage.

Tecumseh Local Schools are on spring break, but the district announced that counseling will be available for students 9 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday at the high school. Additional counselors will be available there Monday, as well. The district also announced that it has canceled its annual mock crash in April during prom season.

"As a district, we are grief stricken over the loss of our students," school district leaders said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the students' families."

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