Driver ID’d in March crash that killed 3 Clark teens

Results of DNA testing by the Ohio State Highway Patrol released Thursday have identified the driver involved in a crash that killed three Clark County teenagers in March.

Based on the DNA testing, 17-year-old Daniel Tittle, of Medway, was identified as the driver of the vehicle carrying the three boys when it went off the roadway just before 6 a.m. on March 26, said Lt. Brian Aller, Springfield OSHP post commander.

Tittle, Wesley Culpepper, 15, of Huber Heights, and Charles Luthe, 16, of Springfield — all Tecumseh High School students — were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. An investigation into the crash concluded that all three were not wearing seat belts, although with the severity of the crash, seatbelt usage would not have saved the boys’ lives, said Aller in Thursday’s statement.

Toxicology results released earlier this month determined all three boys had either blood alcohol or urine alcohol content levels over the legal limit for adult drivers, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s office. Tittle had a blood alcohol level of .218, Luthe’s blood alcohol level was .108 and Culpepper’s urine alcohol level was .124.

“I don’t want what happened back in March to ever happen again,” Aller said. “I can’t stress enough the importance of safety, including wearing a seat belt.”

Aller also stressed the importance of seat belt use and safe driving during busy holiday weekends such as the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. He said 80 percent of the people wh0 die in fatal crashes in Clark County were not wearing seat belts.

“This new information into the crash comes on one of the major holidays for enforcement, and we’re in the middle of (the) Click It or Ticket (driving safety campaign),” Aller said. “If they would have been going the speed limit and if they would have had their seat belts on, this could have been a different story.”

The 2010 Hyundai Sonata driven by Tittle was traveling northbound on Ridge Road when the vehicle went off the right side of the roadway, crossed back left of center, went off the left side of the roadway and struck a tree, according to accident reports. The vehicle was torn in half upon impact, the OSHP said.

About the Author