Friday, June 23, 2000

1 dead, 7 hurt in crash

Minivan carrying 7 children slams into building

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Firefighters try to remove children and the driver from a wrecked minivan.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
        A boy was killed and six of his siblings were hurt — four critically — Thursday afternoon when their speeding minivan slammed into a building without braking.

        Police said the driver, the father of one of the injured children, was driving on a suspended license and that they were investigating it as alcohol-related.

        The van was headed south on Bloom Street in South Fairmount when it ran a stop sign at Waverly Street about 2 p.m., sideswiped a pole and hit the brick wall, police said. Investigators were trying to determine why the driver apparently did not hit the brakes. They found no evidence of skidding tires.

        Six-year-old Devin Williams was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at Children's Hospital Medical Center. One child was thrown from the van. . Four of the children — Mary Williams, 10; Paul Williams, 9; Jasmine Williams, 7; and Cory Williams, 5, were all listed in critical condition at Children's Hospital Thursday night. Erica Williams, 1, was in serious condition and Barbara Williams, 8, was in fair condition.

        The driver, identified as Dennis James, 34, of Fair mount Avenue, was listed in serious condition at University Hospital.

        Police said Mr. James is under an Ohio driving suspension and had no driving privileges at the time of the fatal crash.

        Police said Mr. James is an acquaintance of Vicki Williams, the mother of the children injured in the crash and the owner of the van. Mr. James is the father of Erica Williams, police said.

        Officers tracked down Ms. Williams, who was at work, and took her to Children's Hospital late in the afternoon, police said.


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