Two people have died in a tragic Thanksgiving Day crash caused by a driver eluding people on the Ohio Turnpike.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol said Andrew D. Gans, 24, of Kent, Ohio, was leading police on a high-speed chase westbound on the turnpike Thursday evening. According to witnesses, Gans' 2013 Infinity M56 was weaving in and out of traffic as it sped along the roadway near Fremont.
Around 7:18 p.m., Gans' vehicle rear-ended a westbound minivan while moving at over 100 mph near mile marker 89, just east of Route 53. The Infinity went off the side of the road and burst into flames just after Gans exited the vehicle.
The minivan came to rest in the center lane of traffic and caught fire with the driver and one passenger inside. The two, unidentified occupants were not able to escape from the vehicle. They died as a result of the crash.
Officials said the speeding vehicle was traveling between 125 mph and 150 mph and hit at least three other vehicles over the course of 17 miles.
Gans sustained injuries and was transported to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center for treatment. The names of those killed in the minivan are being withheld pending family notification.
Due to the nature of damage to both vehicles, it is not known whether any of those involved were wearing seatbelts.
Immediately following the crash, traffic was brought to a halt for several hours in westbound lanes of the turnpike.
Patrol officers spent hours trying to re-route drivers out of the area using Exit 110 (Sandusky-Bellevue) and Exit 91 (Fremont-Port Clinton). Some drivers were stuck for nearly 6 hours, while some vehicles required a jumpstart after hours waiting in the cold.
Troopers say the crash remains under investigation. Alcohol use as a factor in the crash is unknown at this time.