One killed in fiery crash

By Eddie Mowen Jr. -

PREBLE COUNTY — A two-vehicle crash claimed the life of one driver and injured the other on Monday, May 15.

At press time, the Preble County Sheriff’s Office was investigating the fatal crash which occurred at approximately 2:47 p.m. on Monday, on Ohio 503 near the north corporation limits of West Elkton.

According to Sheriff Mike Simpson, the preliminary investigation indicated “that a 2006 Maroon Saturn traveling northbound was struck by a southbound 2002 Green Toyota MR2 Spyder. Evidence at the scene and witness accounts indicate that the Toyota was left of center at the time of the crash. Upon impact, the Toyota caught fire and the driver was trapped.”

Sidney Hacker, 18, of Middletown, who was the driver of the Saturn, was transported to Kettering Hospital in Kettering by MedFlight with non-life threatening injuries, according to Simpson.

The driver of the Toyota, Gregory A. Lavallo, age 58, of Arcanum, Ohio, was pronounced dead at the scene. Dental records were used to positively identify Lavallo, according to Simpson in a press release issued Thursday, May 18.

The deceased driver was transported to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office where an autopsy was expected to be completed on Tuesday. It was unknown at press time if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.

Ohio 503 remained closed for approximately 2 ½ hours while deputies conducted their investigation.

Gratis EMS, Gratis Fire Department and West Elkton-Gratis Twp. Fire Department, and the Ohio Department of Transportation all responded to the scene.

The crash remained under investigation by the Preble County Sheriff’s Office and the Preble County Coroner’s Office at press time.

By Eddie Mowen Jr.

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.