April 21, 2014

Partly sunny

Weekend crash kills Valley City mother, son

By Evan Goodenow

GRAFTON — A mother and her 11-year-old son were killed and her husband and daughter severely injured after a head-on car crash about 10:30 p.m. Saturday on state Route 83 in front of the Grafton Correctional Institution.

Tammy Tomasheski, 36, and 11-year-old Tom Tomasheski III, of Valley City, were killed in the crash. Lorain County sheriff’s Cpl. Tom Tomasheski Jr., 38, and his daughter, Danielle, 13, were critically injured in the accident, according to Sgt. Paul March of the Elyria post of the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Tom Tomasheski was driving southbound in a Honda Civic when he was struck by a northbound Kia driven by Gerald Wetherbee, 35, of Oberlin. March said Wetherbee veered to the right side of the road then left before striking the Honda. March, who wasn’t at the crash scene, said troopers suspect Wetherbee may have been drinking and that a blood test was taken from him after he was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland where he was in critical condition Sunday.

Wetherbee has an extensive criminal record, including two convictions for drunken driving. March said troopers will apply for a warrant today to get a sample of Wetherbee’s blood to determine if he was driving drunk before the crash.

A decision on whether to charge Wetherbee won’t be made until the results of the blood test are completed in a few weeks.

“We’ll wait until the dust settles and make sure all our reports are completed and presented to the prosecutor’s office,” March said.

Tomasheski, who joined the sheriff’s office in 1997, was in critical condition at MetroHealth on Sunday night. Danielle was in critical condition at Rainbow Children’s Hospital in Cleveland.

In a news release, Sheriff Phil Stammitti and Chief Deputy Dennis Cavanaugh said the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office staff is praying for Tomasheski and Danielle and grieving for Tammy Tomasheski and her son.

“We are all one large family,” Stammitti and Cavanaugh said. “Through our devoted and caring support we will get through this devastating event together.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.