Brighton crash claims Columbus woman’s life

By Jason Hawk -

A Columbus woman has died of her injuries from a T-bone crash Saturday at a notorious Brighton Township intersection.

Kiara Stowers, 18, was the passenger in a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu heading north on 511. When driver Elijah Ross, 19, of Pickerington, failed to halt at a stop sign at 1:26 p.m. at Rt. 18, the car was hit hard from the right by a 2004 Dodge Ram pick-up, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Ross was uninjured. But Wellington fire chief Mike Wetherbee described how his crew worked for 10 to 15 minutes to cut Stowers out of the crushed Malibu while South Lorain County Ambulance District paramedics tried to stabilize her.

Stowers was in trauma arrest and rescuers started IV lines and performed CPR during the extrication.

Once freed, she was taken to Mercy Allen Hospital in Oberlin and then flown to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, where she died.

The driver of the Ram was James Young, 34, of Norwalk. He suffered minor injuries and was also taken to Mercy Allen, where he was treated and released, troopers said.

All involved wore seat belts and alcohol use is not suspected. The crash remains under investigation.

Wetherbee said his firefighters know the intersection well. “Rt. 18 and 511 used to be one of the hot spots. Anytime there was a crash there, it was a bad crash,” he said.

In the past decade, the state has installed stop signs with flashing LEDs there and better marked the rural crossing to get drivers’ attention, he said.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

By Jason Hawk