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Published: 3/7/2009

Pregnant mother mourned after crash

BY LAREN WEBER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Holly Darrah was remembered by friends Friday as a beautiful woman with an infectious laugh and a dimpled smile that lit up a room.

Ms. Darrah, 28, of 952 Toronto Ave. and her unborn child died Thursday after a crash on the Anthony Wayne Trail just north of Detroit Avenue. Her 4-year-old daughter was hurt seriously, police said.

"Words cannot explain how devastating your loss has been to the ones who loved you," a woman posted Friday on the social networking site Facebook.com. "This is truly unfair."

Another woman wrote: "You are a true treasure and I am lucky to have known such a wonderful person."

Ms. Darrah and her daughter, Riley Theftford, were southbound on the Trail about 11 a.m. when her car went off the left side of the road and hit a tree. The impact caused the vehicle to rotate before striking two more trees, police said.

Ms. Darrah, who was eight months pregnant, was taken to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, where she died a short time later. The unborn child was delivered by C-section, but attempts to save the baby were unsuccessful.

Riley was flown to Toledo Hos-pital, where she was in intensive care.

Ms. Darrah died of multiple blunt-force injuries to her abdomen and pelvis. The unborn child died as a result of blood loss suffered by the mother, said Dr. Diane Barnett, a deputy Lucas County coroner.

Toledo police Officer Tim Tighe said authorities are unsure what caused Ms. Darrah to go off the road.

A witness driving behind Ms. Darrah said he didn't recall seeing her brake as she drove into the median.

Officer Tighe said if Ms. Darrah had become distracted while driving, she likely had little or no time to react once she realized what was happening.

He said there's no indication she was speeding or using a cell phone. Police are unsure where Ms. Darrah and Riley were going.

Officer Tighe said Riley was crying and secured in a child safety seat when rescue crews arrived.

"As discomforting as that is, that's what you want to hear," he said.

Contact Laren Weber at:

lweber@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.



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