Motorcyclists, teens among 17 people killed in Ohio Memorial Day weekend crashes

Three people riding motorcycles in Montgomery County and two teenagers in Butler and Warren counties were among 17 people killed in 14 crashes on Ohio’s roadways over Memorial Day weekend.

The number of fatalities is down from last year in Ohio, when 26 people were killed during the four-day reporting period from Friday through Monday, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol provisional statistics.

However, the death toll was higher this year regionally, with five people killed in four southwest Ohio crashes. Last year, two 17-year-olds died in separate crashes, one from Lebanon in Warren County and one from Greenville in Darke County.

Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start to summer, also marks the start of the 100 deadliest days. The period that continues through Labor Day weekend is an increased time for crashes, especially among teen drivers.

Gregory Yannekis, 43, was identified Tuesday by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office as the motorcyclist pronounced dead at the scene of a fiery crash in West Carrollton. The crash happened shortly before 8 a.m. Friday on West Central Avenue and also involved an SUV, the West Carrollton Police Department reported.

No further information was released and the crash remains under investigation.

Dayton residents Shawn Norman, 58, and Clarence Weatherby, 68, were pronounced dead at the scene of a crash shortly after 9 p.m. Saturday in Harrison Twp. that injured a woman driving an SUV.

Norman was operating a 2017 Polaris Slingshot three-wheeled motorcycle south on state Route 48, with Weatherby as his passenger, when they collided with a 2011 Buick Enclave driven by 31-year-old Meleah Walker of Dayton who was turning left onto Philadelphia Drive, according to the patrol’s Dayton Post. Walker was taken to Kettering Health Dayton with injuries described as not life-threatening.

The crash investigation is ongoing, troopers said.

Two 17-year-old passengers died following separate single-car crashes Sunday in Butler and Warren counties.

Briana Kaylin Tzeiranakis, a junior at Ross High School, was a passenger in a 2022 Honda Civic driven by a 16-year-old Ross Twp. boy, who went off the right side of the road at a curve and crashed into a utility pole around 2:30 a.m. Sunday in the 4800 block of Cincinnati Brookville Road (state Route 126) between Scott Street and Alert New London Road in Morgan Twp., according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

Tzeiranakis, of Morgan Twp. was flown to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where she died from her injuries. The driver was treated at the scene. He was distracted by his passenger prior to the crash, according to the report filed by the sheriff’s office.

Jason Flint, of Blanchester, was pronounced dead at the scene after he was ejected during the crash reported around 9:55 p.m. on Settlemyre Road south of Wilmington Road in Washington Twp., Warren County, according to the patrol’s Lebanon Post.

A 19-year-old Clarksville woman, Brittney Shockley, was driving a 2008 Mazda MX-5 when she went off the left side of the road on a curve and then went across the road and off the right and overturned, ejecting Flint and a 15-year-old passenger who were both not wearing seat belts, troopers said.

Shockley and the 15-year-old suffered injuries that were not life-threatening and were taken to area hospitals for treatment.

Both crashes remain under investigation.

During the four-day reporting period, troopers made 19,104 traffic enforcement contacts, including 361 impaired driving arrests, 61 drug arrests, 2,662 safety belt citations and 1,090 distracted driving citations. In addition, the patrol made 9,779 non-enforcement contacts including 1,950 motorist assists.

Motorists are encouraged to call #677, if it is safe and legal to do so, to report drug activity and dangerous or impaired driving.

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