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6 teens killed, 2 hurt in northeast Ohio SUV crash

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Sunday, March 10, 2013 - 9:01 pm

WARREN, Ohio — Highway Patrol officials say speed was a factor in the violent early morning crash of a sports utility vehicle that killed six teenagers in the northeast Ohio.

Ohio Highway Patrol Lt. Brian Holt says at a Sunday night news conference that he wouldn't estimate the speed the Honda Passport was traveling when it crashed into a guardrail and flipped over into a swampy pond at about 7 a.m. Sunday. He says that speed was an issue with the SUV that was carrying eight teenagers.

Holt says he isn't sure what the speed limit on the two-lane road is and wouldn't estimate the speed that the SUV was traveling. He also says he won't comment on whether alcohol or drugs were involved.

State troopers showed the wrecked vehicle, the windows cracked and with the most extensive damage to the front end, hood and roof.

The Honda Passport veered off the left side of a road, hit a guardrail and overturned just south of the city of Warren, about 60 miles east of Cleveland, Lt. Anne Ralston said. Investigators say it came to rest in the swamp and sank with five of the victims trapped inside. A sixth who was thrown from the SUV during the crash was found under it when the vehicle was taken out of the water.

The two survivors escaped and ran to a nearby home to call 911, the highway patrol said.

Two of the teens, both 15, were brought to a hospital "in full cardiac arrest," St. Joseph Health Center nursing supervisor Julie Gill said, and were pronounced dead there. She said they were treated for hypothermic drowning trauma, indicating they had been submerged in cold water.

The two who survived, 18-year-old Brian Henry and 15-year-old Asher Lewis, both of Warren, were treated for bruising and other injuries and released, she said.

All those killed were ages 14 to 19, authorities said. State police identified them as 19-year-old Alexis Cayson; Andrique Bennett, 14; Brandon Murray, 17; and Kirkland Behner, Daylan Ray and Ramone White, all 15. All six were from Warren. It's not believed that the eight people inside the vehicle were closely related, the highway patrol said.

Near the Pennsylvania state line, Warren is historically a manufacturing town that's home to more than 40,000 people.