YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Police say a Warren woman was driving the wrong way on Route 711 when she hit a tractor-trailer, killing her brother and two children.
Police said the driver, 25-year-old Ka-Nosha Bason, was driving an SUV in the northbound lanes by Gypsy Lane in Youngstown when the crash happened.
The crash killed 5-year-old Nia’laisha and 7-year-old Noreyion Bason and 32-year-old Cedrick Lyons.
“It was a very tragic accident,” said Youngstown Police Lt. Bill Ross. “It will be hard on all of the first responders involved, especially when there are children involved like this.”
The driver of the tractor-trailer, Gilbert DeMello, of Youngstown, told First News that he was traveling north on the connector when he collided with the SUV, which he said was speeding.
“I saw headlights coming at me at a very, very fast speed. She was not driving slow. She was flying. When I went to swerve to the right, she swerved and I couldn’t get out of the lane, she was going too fast. I just started to turn and she hit me, and her car flew over to the guardrail and must have hit one of the steering parts in the truck, and the truck just took off and went right into the woods,” DeMello said.
DeMello was pinned in the truck and it was on fire. He said he had to kick the passenger door open to get out.
“I stood there and waited for the cops to come, and some lady walked up and said, ‘Hey, you shouldn’t go down there. There are three people that got killed,’ and then I was just hysterical,” DeMello said.
If you are viewing this on a mobile device, you can watch the interview with the truck driver at WYTV.com
DeMello was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital with minor injuries.
“It just hurts so bad knowing that those people were killed,” DeMello said. “I know I didn’t do it, but I was involved… It’s ripping me apart inside.”
The two Bason children who were killed in the accident were students in the Warren City School District.
Both Nai’lasha and Noreyion attended McGuffey Pre-K through 8.
Superintendent Steve Chiaro said the entire district was devastated by the news of their passing. Grief counselors will be back in place next week and will remain available for as long as they’re needed.
“We rely heavily on our grief counselors. We do have some grief counselors within the district, and we also rely on outside counseling services when these times occur to support our students but also support our staff,” he said.
Police are still investigating the cause of the crash, saying they are looking into drugs, alcohol and speed as potential factors in the crash.