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Published: Friday, 11/29/2013 - Updated: 7 months ago

Victims of fiery turnpike crash identified as Toledo couple

BLADE STAFF
Andrew D. Gans Andrew D. Gans
LUCAS COUNTY BOOKING PHOTO Enlarge

FREMONT – The victims of a fatal Thanksgiving Day crash on the Ohio Turnpike have been identified as Wilbur and Margaret McCoy.

Both victims were 77 and lived in Toledo, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.

The couple's minivan was westbound on the Ohio Turnpike, near Fremont, when it was struck by a vehicle driving more than 125 mph, officials said.

The van was rear-ended and burst into flames, as did the speeding 2013 Infiniti M56, which was driven by Andrew Gans, 24, of Kent, Ohio.

Wilbur and Margaret McCoy Wilbur and Margaret McCoy
FROM MARGARET McCOY'S FACEBOOK PAGE Enlarge

The Toledo couple were both wearing seatbelts and, as a result of the crash, were trapped inside their burning vehicle, according to the highway patrol.

Mr. Gans suffered nonlife threatening injuries from the crash, according to the highway patrol.

He was taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo after the crash, which occured at 7:19 p.m. on Thursday near milepost 89 in Rice Township.

Traffic backed up on the Ohio Turnpike on Thursday. Traffic backed up on the Ohio Turnpike on Thursday.
PHOTO COURTESY OF TY S. MAHAFFEY Enlarge

Highway Patrol officials said today that the 24-year-old is charged with two counts of vehicular homicide with a reckless specification. A court date has not been set and, once the suspect is released from the hospital, he will be booked into the Lucas County jail pending an extradition hearing.

Lt. Anne Ralston, a spokesman for the highway patrol, said in a news release that the suspect is undergoing a psychiatric evaluation and has been interviewed by investigators.

Lieutenant Ralston said calls about a speeding and erratic driver began to come in at 6:58 p.m.

Soon after, a westbound trooper was passed by Mr. Gans, who officials have estimated was driving between 125 and 150 mph.

The trooper activated the cruiser's lights and sirens, but lost sight of the Infiniti.

Near milepost 107, another trooper spotted the speeding car. That trooper was also unable to stop or catch up to the vehicle before losing sight of it, officials said.

The vehicle was not seen again until troopers came upon the crash.

Blade staff writers David Patch, Taylor Dungjen, Jane Schmucker, and Mike Sigov contributed to this report.



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