Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Teens learn dangers of Butler roads

4 siblings hurt, one critically, in Tolbert Rd. wreck

By David Eck
Enquirer contributor

WAYNE TOWNSHIP - Kaitlen Holt has always been wary of the Tolbert Road-Ohio 503 intersection. It's just a few hundred yards from her home, at the crest of a steep hill, and it's dangerous.

Shortly after 7 a.m. Tuesday, driving her three younger siblings to school, she pulled from Tolbert into the intersection, apparently without seeing a pickup truck heading north on 503.

The resulting crash sent her, two brothers and a sister to the hospital, one critically injured. And it sent chills through another school, in a county where serious crashes involving teen drivers have become all too commonplace.

Kaitlen, 16, was driving the Honda sedan she's had only a few months. With her were 15-year-old twins Jared and Megan, both freshmen, and their younger brother, Trevel Holt-Hinesman, 12, a sixth-grader, all headed to the Edgewood High School-Middle School campus.

Butler County sheriff's deputies said a preliminary investigation showed that Kaitlen drove into the path of a pickup truck driven by Terry Peters, 45, of West Chester.

Peters, Kaitlen and the twins suffered minor injuries and were treated at Middletown Regional Hospital. Trevel was taken by helicopter to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, and then transferred to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. He was in critical condition Tuesday.

At home Tuesday, the teens spoke softly as they recalled the awful moments after the crash and expressed concern for their brother.

Jared recalled wiggling his legs free from the wreckage.

"My legs were pinned," he said. "I definitely felt the pain in my legs."

Trevel was trapped in the wreckage and had to be pried out by rescue workers.

All four were wearing their seat belts, Kaitlen said.

Word of the crash spread quickly at Edgewood. School officials assembled a crisis team for students and staff at both schools.

High School Principal Robert Buchheim updated students on their classmates' conditions all day.

Kaitlen says she's been a careful driver since getting her license last December. She knew the dangers of the Tolbert-Ohio 503 crossing.

"We warn our friends when they come out. Watch the intersection," Kaitlen said.

Sue Kiesewetter contributed to this report.


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