Car accident injures eight

Morgan Day

Firefighters investigate a car accident that occurred at the intersection of state Route 261 and Cherry Street early last night. KATIE ROUPE | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Dan Kloock

Six children and two adults were transported to area hospitals following a crash that occurred about 4:50 p.m. yesterday at the intersection of state Route 261 and Cherry Street.

A Plymouth Voyager minivan, driven by Kendra Riley, 25, of Ravenna, was traveling eastbound on state Route 261 when it rear-ended a Chevrolet Silverado truck, driven by Jerry Sales, 48, of Kent.

Sales said he came to a stop while waiting for a vehicle in front of him to make a turn, and that’s when Riley’s van hit his truck. Sales was accompanied by two teenage passengers, possibly his children, said Jaime Sweitzer, a trooper with the Ravenna Post of the State Highway Patrol.

Sweitzer said Riley’s vehicle also carried her husband, Terry Riley, 22, of Ravenna, and their four children, whose names and ages are not known. All children were taken to Akron Children’s Hospital. A hospital employee said no one was admitted under the last names Riley and Sales; however, Sweitzer said he believes all injuries are minor. Terry and Kendra Riley were released from Akron City Hospital last night.

Sales drove his vehicle home, but the Riley van was totaled and caught fire after its occupants exited.

“It exploded,” said Kent resident Dottie Near, who witnessed the crash as she traveled westbound on state Route 261. “The van just exploded, and there were four babies in there.”

She said she helped the children out of the van before it caught fire.

At 5:15, the tan van sat smoldering in the road as traffic backed up in the eastbound lane, the left side of its windshield busted through.

“That might’ve been from the heat or from the impact,” Sweitzer said.

He said the road was opened again within 45 minutes.

Also responding to the accident were Kent City Police, Brimfield Township Emergency Medical Services, Kent City EMS, Ravenna Police Department and Tallmadge Police Department, which helped assist with traffic control traveling eastbound.

Contact affairs reporter Morgan Day at [email protected].