Passenger of car hit by semi in Beaver Twp. dies from injuries

A semi truck struck a car on State Route 626 in Beaver Township

Crash in Beaver Township sends three to the hospital.

BEAVER TWP., Ohio (WYTV) – A car and a semi dump truck collided, sending three men to the hospital with injuries Thursday afternoon.

The passenger of the car, 26-year-old Russell McCullough, Jr., of Alliance, died from his injuries Thursday night, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

“I heard a big noise when I was upstairs in my bedroom, then I heard my son yelling, ‘Not this! Not again!’ This isn’t the first time this has happened,” said Raymond Pierce. The vehicles came to a stop in his front yard.

Highway Patrol said the semi truck driven by 71-year-old Gerald Westfall, of Newton Falls, was heading north on State Route 626 in Beaver Township.

They said the car driven by 22-year-old Gabriel Blankenship, of Salem, came to a quick stop, then continued through the stop sign, pulling in front of the semi that had the right of way.

“The truck was traveling north, the car traveling east. The car stopped at the stop sign and a witness says it then pulled out in front of the semi,” Lieutenant Jerad Sutton said.

The truck tried braking, but was unable to stop and hit the car just before 3 p.m.

“The semi put on his Jake brake, blew the horn, but there was no missing the car. It hit it square in the side,” said Jen King, who witnessed the crash.

Both the car and the semi truck went off the right side of the road into a neighbor’s yard. The car rolled over during the crash.

King immediately pulled off to the side of the road and called 911. She, along with two other witnesses who happened to be nurses, ran to the scene moments after the accident.

“We worked on clearing their airway so they could breathe if possible, then I went and assisted the semi truck driver.”

Both men in the car were taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center with life-threatening injuries.

Westfall was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries. A witness said he lost consciousness after the accident.

Neighbors call the three-way intersection of State Routes 626 and 165 “deadly,” saying they’ve witnessed several crashes there over the last 15 years.

“When I came outside, this is all I saw. They needed help,” Pierce said. “I’ve lived here about 15 years and I’ve seen ten plus accidents…just not like this.”

They say the problem is that drivers aren’t always aware that it’s a three-way stop. Now Pierce and others are asking for change.

“They need to do something here at least. Some kind of flashing lights, something to announce that this could happen,” Pierce said.

“Any intersection can be dangerous, so we always tell people to look twice when you stop at a stop sign. Make sure it’s clear before you pull out,” Sutton said.

Troopers closed Route 626 north for a couple hours during the investigation, but the road is now open.

Highway Patrol said all three were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

The crash is still under investigation.Troopers are trying to figure out what caused the driver of the car to pull out in front of the semi truck.

They say charges could still be pending, if any charges are filed at all.

A car and a semi truck collided on SR 626 in Beaver Twp., sending three men to the hospital with injuries Thursday afternoon.

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