3 teens killed, 2 others hurt in crash that split car

'Extremely high rate of speed' blamed for fatal accident.
TNS Regional News
Jun 27, 2014

 

It’s a proud and exciting day for any 16-year-old, and Jaylynn Rigio was no different. He wanted the world to know.

“I got my license yesterday,” he posted on his Facebook page on April 12. It was accompanied by a close-up photo of his license lying on his wallet.

Yesterday – only two months after that post – Rigio piled four of his Johnstown-area friends into his grandmother’s 2003 Mitsubishi Diamante. It was a muggy June afternoon and they were headed for a swim at a nearby Licking County creek.

Troopers from the Granville post of the State Highway Patrol say Rigio lost control of the car about noon, swerving off a deep berm on the right side of Hardscrabble Road outside of Johnstown.

He apparently pulled hard to the left – too hard – and went off the road again on the left side. Trying to steer the car back onto the road, Rigio flipped it onto its side and smashed, top first, into a large maple tree.

The force of the impact tore the four-door sedan in half, with the back of the car whipping into a farmhouse yard and the front of the car spinning back out into the road. The contents of the car — a silver link necklace, a cellphone case, a flip-flop — were scattered all over.

“By the damage, it looks like they were traveling at a high rate of speed,” said Sgt. Jeff Dallas of the Granville post of the State Highway Patrol. “Extremely high.”

Rigio’s three backseat passengers — Michael Hoskinson, 17, and Linzie Bell and Cheyenne Spurgeon, both 15 — were dead by the time authorities arrived.

Rigio was flown to Nationwide Children’s Hospital; his front-seat passenger, Ashton Cody, 16, was taken to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center. Last night, hospital personnel wouldn’t release their conditions. They shouldn’t have all been in the car together. Ohio law prohibits a 16-year-old driver from transporting more than one passenger unless a parent is in the vehicle.

The crash sent shockwaves through the Licking County community of Johnstown.

“This is a very tight-knit community,” said Johnstown-Monroe Superintendent Dale Dickson. “It’s hit everybody very hard.”

All five youths had attended Johnstown schools at some point. Bell, Cody and Spurgeon now attend other area schools, and Hoskinson recently graduated from Johnstown.

“They’re all our children,” said Dickson. “They’re our most precious gift. It’s tough to lose them. I can’t imagine what these parents are going through.”

A resident of Hardscrabble Road, who asked not to be identified, said she heard the car pass their farmhouse.

“I saw it going like this,” she said, moving her arms back and forth to emulate the car’s desperate swerves. “He just lost control and couldn’t recover.”

She said that one of the boys who survived – she wasn’t sure which one – walked dazed from the crash and up the road toward her.

“He walked almost to the house,” more than 100 yards from the crash site, she said, “but he was disoriented. Someone picked him up and he was taken away in an ambulance.”

“It looked like they all were partially ejected,” Dallas, of the Highway Patrol, said. “I would assume preliminarily that they were not seat-belted.”

Johnstown-Monroe will open its doors this morning for grief counseling. Counselors will be on hand from 9 to 11 a.m. in the high school’s media center.

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By Eric Lyttle - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

Visit The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) at www.dispatch.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

Windy

How incredibly sad! Praying for the families of all involved and for the recovery of those in the hospital.

Cliff Cannon

By percentage the driver most likely to be killed in an accident is 16. The next driver most likely to be killed, by percentage in accident is 17.

So PLEASE young people learn from this horrible tragedy that --YOU-- are not accident proof. Despite being young and in total belief that tragedy's happen only to 'other' people. These tragedy's ---- get you !


And why ? Because of your youth, you tend to think -- " it can't happen to me " Well it can and does---- way to often-- as the percentages prove.


So PLEASE ! Slow down ! Then pray for these unfortunate souls, whose lives were snuffed out way to soon because of speed.


Because those who loved them ,will--- like your loved ones--- if you drive stupidly, suffer all the days of their lives over the horrific loss of their children.


Most of all, again, please pray for those lives lost in this horrible, horrible, needless tragedy.

JACKEL

You have said it all Cliff !

Cliff Cannon

JACKEL : Coming from a man who's opinion, I enjoy reading and respect very much. I humbly thank-you for your comment, then pray teenagers everywhere heed the warning this terrible tragedy brings.

DirkDiggler

Check out Jaylynn's Facebook page. The kid is stoned out of his gourd in most of his pictures. Very, very sad. Thoughts & prayers go out to all the families burying their children. If this kid survives he is gonna have a long road ahead of him with the guilt of killing 3 people on his conscience.

Nettiewata

I think the age that you can get your driver's license should be raised to 18 at least. 16 year old kids are still too irresponsible to be out driving. They get they're license and they wanna drive like they do in their video games but it's not a game,it's reality. When you lose your life in these crashes you can't hit the restart button.

Windy

How about this - If a student stays on the honor roll, he can get a drivers license at age 16. If he doesn't get on the honor roll, he doesn't get to drive until he's 18. I'll bet if this went into effect, kids would take school more seriously!

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

Children do not always progress at the same speed.

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

Ohio law prohibits a 16-year-old driver from transporting more than one passenger unless a parent is in the vehicle.