High speed crash update

Local News

A violent crash claimed the lives of three people.  The coroner has identified the victims as police work to determine the cause of the crash.

The accident happened around 2pm Friday, at the intersection of West 12th and Cherry streets.  Police say an SUV sped through a red light at the intersection and slammed into a semi truck.  The driver reportedly was traveling at a speed of more than 90 miles per hour–so fast, debris from the collission traveled more than 400 feet.

The SUV hit another vehicle.  That driver, along with the truck driver, were uninjured.  The investigation continues today into the gruesome crash that killed those three men.  Traffic investigators have been working through the weekend to try and find out what happened in that SUV prior to the deadly accident.  The victims have been identified as 65 year old Charles Barnes, 72 year old Willie Bird, and 65 year old Oscar Johnson.  

The traffic investigators have obtained surveillance video from two coroners of the intersection at West 12th and Cherry Street.  They are using that video to try to determine where each of those individuals were sitting in the SUV at the time of the accident.  Friends at Methodist Towers have told investigators that Johnson was driving when they left.  

Police have also received a lot of help from several other drivers in the area at the time of the crash.  “We’ve had an enormous amount of help from the people out there,” says Jeffrey Annunziata, EPD Traffic Investigator, “how responsible everyone has seemed to act in a tragedy”.

Annunziata also said they were traveling in excess of 90 miles per hour and says when he first watched the video, he had to go frame by frame because the impact was just so quick.  

As of now, no crominal activity is suspected, but the investigation continues.

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