July 1, 2016


No. 8: 4 teens killed in crash on graduation day

The body of Lexi Poerner leaves St. Ambrose for her final journey to Resurrection Cemetery.

It was the kind of crash that was so tragic it stayed on the minds of parents for weeks.

Four Brunswick teenagers, just days away from a much-anticipated summer break, were killed in early June at a railroad crossing in Columbia Township.

The Ohio Highway Patrol estimated that the 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier driven by Jeffrey Chaya, 18, was going 69 mph before it crashed shortly after midnight June 3.

Chaya, Blake Bartchak, 17, Lexi Poerner, 16, and Kevin Fox, 18, all died. There was one survivor, Julia Romito, 17.

While it’s hard to find good in such tragedy, the crossing will soon be smoothed to prevent other accidents. The $450,000 project includes slightly raising the road to the east and west of the tracks.

About Lisa Roberson

Lisa Roberson has been with the Chronicle since 2006, and covers Elyria city government and public education. She can be reached at 329-7121 or LRoberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter.