GRANGER TWP. — One man was killed and two were hospitalized after a crash Thursday morning on state Route 18, according to the Medina post of the Ohio Highway Patrol.
Chad Nelson, 29, of Columbus, was pronounced dead at Akron General Hospital, a spokeswoman said.
Mateo Ralios, 20, and Eric Kaskevic, 34, of Strongsville, were injured, the patrol said.
According to the patrol, Ralios was driving a Ford Fusion east at about 5:30 a.m. and traveled into the westbound lane. Between Beach and Ridge roads, Ralios’ car struck a westbound 1996 Chrysler LHS driven by Kaskevic.
Nelson was a passenger in Kaskevic’s car.
Ralios’ vehicle became engulfed in flames, according to the patrol, and he was freed by two passers-by.
Ralios was transported via medical helicopter to Akron General Hospital, where he was listed in serious condition, a hospital spokeswoman said Thursday, and Kaskevic was taken via ambulance to Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center, where the patrol said he was listed in fair condition.
“Alcohol appears to be a factor in this fatal crash,” according to the patrol.
The occupants of both vehicles were wearing seat belts, the patrol said.
Route 18 was closed for about two hours. The scene was cleared by 8:30 a.m.
This was the first fatal crash in Medina County this year, but a spokeswoman for the Medina County Coroner’s Office said it won’t count as a death here because Nelson was pronounced dead at Akron General, which is in Summit County.
According to the Medina County Safe Communities coalition, seven people were killed in crashes in 2012 and 16 died in 2011 in Medina County.
Brunswick officer Jerry Klue, director of Medina County Safe Communities, said by this time last year, four of the seven fatalies had occurred.
Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Mateo Ralios was identified as Gilberto Ralios prior to June 18. Medina County Prosecutor Dean Holman said Mateo Ralios was the correct name.