At 6:37 a.m., troopers were sent to Middle Avenue north of Butternut Ridge Road for a 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser that had struck a building, causing a gas leak. According to a news release, the vehicle lost control after driving over the railroad tracks and went off the side of the road, striking a ditch, fence and then the cinder block building.
The building housed natural gas lines, and the force of the crash caused a severe gas leak, according to the Highway Patrol. The car sustained heavy damage, and three of its four occupants are in critical condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
A passenger in the vehicle, Eric Redondo, 15, of Elyria, was able to exit the vehicle and walk to safety, according to the patrol. He was transported to EMH Medical Center in Elyria with non-life threatening injuries.
Another passenger, Charlie Rivera, 15, of Elyria, also escaped the vehicle but fell to the ground. Rivera was seated in the back seat of the vehicle and flown to Cleveland MetroHealth.
According to the news release, emergency workers were unable to reach Rivera and the driver, Isiah
McKibben, 17, of Lorain, and passenger Deshawn Gamble, 14, of Elyria, as the area was evacuated for safety. McKibben and Gamble were later extracted from the vehicle after officials surveyed the scene.
The Elyria post of the patrol is investigating the crash.
Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.