Sunday, February 25, 2018 Elyria 45°


Three teens die in Columbia Station crash


COLUMBIA STATION — Three Brunswick teenagers died and two remain hospitalized after a one-vehicle crash early this morning.

Jeffrey Chaya, 18, was driving his 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier west on Boston Road, east of Boone Road, at 12:11 a.m. when he lost control of the vehicle after it crossed a railroad track and went airborne, according to a press release from the Elyria post of the State Highway Patrol.

The vehicle went off the right side of the road, then Chaya overcorrected and went off the left side of the road before it struck a ditch, a tree and overturned back on the road, resting upside down.

Chaya, front seat passenger Blake Bartchak, 17, and backseat passenger Lexi Poerner, 16, died in the crash.

Backseat passenger Kevin Fox, 18, was ejected from the car and flown to Cleveland Metro Health Medical Center. A hospital spokesperson said Fox was in critical condition Sunday afternoon.

Backseat passenger Julia Romito, 17, was transported by Valley City Fire and EMS to Southwest General Hospital. The hospital would not release her condition because she is a minor, a spokesperson said.

The Elyria post and Medina post of the Ohio Highway Patrol and fire departments from Columbia Township, Strongsville and Liverpool Township responded to the crash.

The crash is under investigation, and it is unknown if alcohol or drug use was involved, but high speed was a factor, according to the press release.

For more on this story, see Monday's Chronicle-Telegram.


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