None of the six teens killed or the two hurt in the Ohio SUV crash on Sunday morning at about 7 a.m. was wearing a seatbelt. The 14 to 19 year old teens, 7 boys and one girl, the driver, had taken the SUV without permission. The speeding SUV with its eight passengers “veered off the left side of a road and overturned just south of the city of Warren, about 60 miles east of Cleveland,” reported the Associated Press on March 11, 2013.
According to the 2013NewsChannel video report, police said that “Nobody was wearing a seatbelt.”
After the speeding SUV, a Honda Passport, veered off and crashed into a guardrail, it flipped over into a swampy pond, and sank with five of the victims who were trapped inside. A sixth victim was thrown from the SUV during the crash and was found under the SUV in the pond.
“The two boys who survived escaped from the submerged vehicle and ran a quarter-mile to a home to call 911, the highway patrol said.” The two boys who were able to escape from the submerged SUV are 18-year-old Brian Henry and 15-year-old Asher Lewis. Both boys were treated at the hospital for bruising and other injuries and then released.
The six teens who died in the SUV crash became part of a desperate “cold water rescue” by a team who was deployed to the scene according to Warren Fire Department Capt. Bill Monrean. "Being a cold water rescue situation, cold water extends life," Monrean told AP Radio. "We knew we had a chance; even being in there a while."
Two of the six victims, both 15, were taken to St. Joseph Health Center Hospital in full cardiac arrest and were treated for hypothermic drowning trauma but were pronounced dead after all efforts to revive them failed.
The six teens that lost their lives in the fatal SUV crash have been identified as ‘19-year-old driver Alexis Cayson; Andrique Bennett, 14; Brandon Murray, 17; and Kirklan Behner, Ramone White and Ray, all 15.”
All eight SUV teen passengers were from Warren but they do not seem to be closely related. While an investigation so far has determined that speed was a factor in the deadly crash, it is unknown whether other factors like drugs or alcohol played a role.
In addition to the teens not wearing a seatbelt, investigators as well as community members are wondering why one 19-year-old girl and 7 younger boys would be driving around at 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
Jasmine McClintock, a 22-year-old friend of one of the victims visited the crash scene and was “troubled by the question of what the victims were doing out at that hour, not knowing if they had been out all night or left home early.”
"That's the part that boggles my mind. It's like on a Sunday if you're not going to church, what are you doing at 7 a.m. out driving," she asked.
Jasmine McClintock is most likely not the only person who is asking that question.