This 2005 Honda Accord went off Middleburg Plain City Road and caught fire Sunday afternoon. Witnesses were able to turn the car over and pull two people from the burning car. A man died at the scene and a woman was taken to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where she was listed in critical condition. (Photo submitted)
Law enforcement officials responded to a pair of fatal crashes Sunday in Union County.
The Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol responded to a fatal crash involving a single motorcycle in the northern portion of the county during early morning hours Sunday. That afternoon, the Union County Sheriff’s Office handled a fatal car crash in the southern portion of the county.
“Anytime someone loses their life on the road it is a tragedy, and to have two fatal crashes on the same day, it is just shocking and difficult,” said Union County Sheriff Jamie Patton.
According to information from the sheriff’s office, about 5:53 p.m., Sunday, deputies were called to the scene of a one vehicle crash on Middleburg Plain City Road, west of State Route 38 in Union Township.
A 2005 Honda Accord was apparently traveling east on Middleburg Plain City Road. The preliminary investigation indicates the driver failed to negotiate a curve, went off the right side of the road, over corrected and went off the left side of the road, through a field, struck a tree and rolled over.
Officials said the engine apparently caught fire. Bystanders were able to turn the car over and pull two people from the car.
Alan J. Mello, 32, of Columbus, was pronounced dead at the scene. The Union County Coroner’s Office was called and the man was taken to the Montgomery County Morgue for an autopsy.
A female victim was taken by MedFlight to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where she was listed in critical condition this morning.
Officials said that at this point they have not determined who was driving the car at the time of the crash or what caused them to lose control and drive off the road.
“Drugs and alcohol are not considered to be a factor in the crash at this time and it does not appear the victims were wearing seat belts,” according to a release from the Union County Sheriff’s Office, which was assisted at the scene by the Ohio State Highway Patrol as well as fire departments from Union Township, Pleasant Valley, Jerome Township and Marysville.
Middleburg Plain City Road was closed for approximately five hours and the crash remains under investigation by the sheriff’s office.
It was the second fatal crash of the day.
About 2:06 a.m., investigators were called to Yoakum Road, about a mile east of state Route 31 in Washington Township, Union County.
Drew Gannon, 40, of Marion, was driving east on Yoakum Road. Gannon apparently lost control of his 2007 Yamaha motorcycle. The motorcycle overturned, injuring Gannon, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Gannon was found, on the road, by another driver.
Investigators do not believe Gannon was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
A release from the Ohio State Highway Patrol did stress the reminder that motorcyclists should, “always wear a Department of Transportation approved helmet for protection from injuries.”
This crash remains under investigation.
Though according to the release, “Alcohol was not suspected as a factor in this crash.”
The highway patrol was assisted at the scene by the Union County Sheriff’s Office and Union County Coroner’s Office as well as the Mount Victory and Northern Union fire departments.
Lance Emberling, with the Union County Coroner’s office said there have been five fatal crashes in Union County this year.
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