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Published: Tuesday, 12/10/2013 - Updated: 11 months ago

Patrol releases 911 calls in Thanksgiving crash

BY TAYLOR DUNGJEN AND MARLENE HARRIS-TAYLOR
BLADE STAFF WRITERS
Andrew D. Gans Andrew D. Gans
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“He’s gonna kill somebody.”

Those words from a motorist calling police foreshadowed a horrific crash that would happen just moments later on the Ohio Turnpike on Thanksgiving night.

Ohio Highway Patrol officials on Monday released recordings of eight 911 phone calls that came in from drivers as 24-year-old Andrew Gans raced by them that night in his 2013 Infiniti M56, allegedly moving at more than 125 mph in the westbound lanes.

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The second caller to report him had already lost sight of the speeding vehicle before he could get 911 on the line.

That motorist, who never identified himself, called at 6:58 p.m. on Nov. 28 from Lorain County’s Amherst Township, 48 miles east of where Mr. Gans’ car would crash into a minivan, killing a Toledo couple at 7:19 p.m.

Mr. Gans of Kent, Ohio, is charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide and was held Monday in the Sandusky County jail in lieu of $1 million bond.

In most of the calls answered by dispatchers, witnesses reported that the car was moving at least 100 mph. One woman, “Susan,” said her vehicle had been clipped by the Infiniti. She did not return a message seeking comment Monday.

Wilbur and Margaret McCoy, both 77, were killed when their minivan was struck from behind and burst into flames in Sandusky County’s Rice Township, about 3 miles west of the turnpike’s State Rt. 53 interchange for Fremont.

Highway Patrol officials said Mr. Gans has admitted, during an interview at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, that he had been drinking before the crash.

Lt. Anne Ralston, a patrol spokesman, said a rush order has been put on Mr. Gans’ toxicology test, but results were not yet in on Monday. Officials also believe Mr. Gans took prescription medication before the crash, the spokesman said.

Lieutenant Ralston also said a reconstruction of the crash, which will give investigators a clearer picture of how fast the car was going, was incomplete. Officials already have estimated its speed at between 125 and 150 mph.

Peter Lorenz, a Ravenna, Ohio, lawyer representing Mr. Gans, said his client was on his way to Toledo on Thanksgiving, but it’s not clear why.

“First and foremost, your heart goes out to the family,” he said. “It was just a tragic incident that didn’t have to happen. Who knows what exactly happened that night?”

The accused graduated in May, 2012, from Kent State University with a degree in business administration and a major in computer information systems, a university spokesman said.

His adoptive parents, Karen and Donald Gans, both worked at the university before their deaths.

Mrs. Gans died in May, 2008, at age 57 after a “very long illness” and heart problems.

The elder Mr. Gans, a professor, died from brain cancer Oct. 23, 2010.

Mr. Lorenz said he has known the younger Mr. Gans since he was a child and knew his parents for decades; news of the crash was shocking to him.

“I didn’t believe it,” Mr. Lorenz said. “I thought, ‘It has to be someone else.’ ”

Mr. Lorenz said Mr. Gans has been in and out of the Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo since he was taken into custody.

“He is shell-shocked and disconnected,” Mr. Lorenz said.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at tdungjen@theblade.com, or 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.



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