2 teens die, 3 firefighters injured in Ohio fire truck crash

A man driving behind the rig called 911 and reported the fire truck was traveling through a green light when the crash occurred

By Amanda Garrett
Akron Beacon Journal

AKRON, Ohio — Two teens killed Friday when an SUV they were riding in collided with an Akron fire truck have been identified.

Briyana Hayes, 15, and Lashae Johnson, 16, died after the wreck, according to the Summit County Medical Examiner’s office.

Three other teens were injured and taken to local hospitals, but authorities have not released either their names or their medical conditions.

Three firefighters, too, suffered minor injuries.

The crash happened about 3:45 p.m. Friday at the intersection of West Exchange Street and Rhodes Avenue a few blocks from downtown.

Investigators said Fire Engine No. 3 was southbound on Rhodes Avenue about 3:45 p.m. when a burgundy Chevrolet Trailblazer westbound on West Exchange Street drove through a red light. The fire truck was headed to training, investigators said, and did not have its emergency lights or sirens activated.

According to audiotapes released by Akron police, a man driving behind the fire engine called 9-1-1 immediately after the crash and reported the fire truck was traveling through a green light when the accident happened.

A witness told local television stations the fire truck was driving through a yellow light, but no one has publicly disputed that the SUV drove through a red light.

A special unit from the Akron police department is reconstructing the accident, a process based on measurements and scientific evidence that can taken a month to conclude.

In 2008, the Beacon Journal reported that Briyana Hayes — a kindergartner at Stewart — won a Do The Right Thing Award from Akron police after saving her baby sister from choking on a penny. The story said Briyana alerted her parents to what was happening and then called 9-1-1.

Friends of Lashae Johnson Saturday posted messages of sorrow on her Facebook page.

On it, Lashae said she had studied at Buchtel high school and Stark State College.

Two days before the wreck, LaShae updated her cover photo. It shows her in a tank top, staring directly into the camera with a garland of flowers around her head like a halo.

Copyright 2017 Akron Beacon Journal


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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