June 25, 2016

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Two people, 16 and 44, killed in Sunday night crashes

Loren Genson and Nick Glunt | The Gazette

Two crashes Sunday night raised Medina County’s highway death toll to nine, compared to only two deaths all last year.

A Medina man died after his motorcycle crashed into a guardrail on state Route 3, south of Medina, about 9:20 p.m.

Michael J. Chuss Jr., 44, was riding a 2013 Harley-Davidson motorcycle south when the motorcycle went off the right side of the road just south of Fenn Road, according to the Medina post of the Ohio Highway Patrol.

He was not wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene, the report said.

Patrol Lt. Mark Neff said alcohol and drugs aren’t suspected in the crash, but a blood sample was taken for testing.

The Medina Township Police Department and Medina Township Fire Department assisted at the crash scene.

In the second crash, a 16-year-old Bath Township girl was killed about 11 p.m. in the 5800 block of River Styx Road, just south of Turnberry Lane.

Montville Police Chief Terry Grice said Katherine Babak, 16, was northbound in a 1994 Plymouth Acclaim when she collided with a Jeep Cherokee driven by Jeremy Goodrich, 26, of Rittman.

Grice said Goodrich’s Jeep went left of center striking the Acclaim head-on.

Babak was pronounced dead at the crash site. Her two passengers, a 15-year-old girl from Akron and a 16-year-old girl from Montville Township, were trapped in the wreckage and were removed from the car by a passing motorist and a police officer.

The two girls were flown by helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. Their names were not released pending notification of family members.

Police Lt. Matthew Neil said both girls were receiving treatment in the hospital’s intensive care unit when he left the hospital about 5 a.m. Monday.

Goodrich had to be removed from his Jeep with hydraulic tools. He also was flown by helicopter to MetroHealth Medical Center where he was listed in fair condition Monday afternoon.

Neil said blood samples were taken from Goodrich to determine whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash.

“We anticipate charges will be filed,” Neil said.

Officers with the department who have received special training in accident investigations and reconstruction are investigating the crash. Neil said the investigation could take weeks.

Medina Township police, the Medina Life Support Team, Medina Fire Department and Sharon Township Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene. The road was closed until about 3 a.m. while investigators processed the scene.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com. Follow her on Twitter @lorengenson. Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com. Follow him on Twitter @ngfalcon.

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The Gazette is Medina County's daily local news source, serving the community since 1832. Contact The Gazette's news department at (330) 721-4065 or areanews@medina-gazette.com.