published Friday, November 29th, 2013

2 occupants of van killed in Ohio crash with car traveling more than 125 mph

FREEMONT, Ohio — Two occupants of a van were killed Thursday night after a car traveling more than 125 mph and being chased by state troopers struck the van and burst into flames in northwest Ohio, the State Highway Patrol said.

The crash happened around 7: 15 p.m. near Fremont, about 40 miles southeast of Toledo. The 24-year-old man who allegedly was driving the speeding vehicle was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

WTOL-TV reported that the speeding vehicle was traveling between 125 mph and 150 mph and hit at least three other vehicles over the course of 17 miles.

Josh Pickett of Toledo told The Toledo Blade that he was headed home from Thanksgiving dinner with relatives in Cleveland when the speeding driver passed him, followed about a minute later by a state police cruiser.

"I was going 76, and the guy passes me like I was standing still," Pickett said.

He said within a few minutes traffic suddenly stopped "and I saw really big flames."

Ty Mahaffey of Toledo told The Blade a car zoomed by him "at an enormously high rate of speed. ... I have never seen a passenger car going so fast."

The Toledo resident said he was going around 80 mph "and when he passed me it was like I was going in reverse." He said afterward he had to pull over briefly to collect himself.

The turnpike's westbound lanes were expected to be closed until early Friday.

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