Five From Md. Family Dead in Ohio Crash

By David P. Marino-Nachison Staff Writer
Monday, December 31, 2007; 9:35 AM

Five people, including three members of a Maryland family, died late yesterday when their minivan was hit head-on by a pickup truck going the wrong way on a Toledo, Ohio-area interstate, according to the Toledo Blade.

Bethany Griffin, 36, and Jordan Griffin, 10, of Parkville, Md., near Baltimore, were pronounced dead at the scene, along with Lacie Burkman, 7, and Haley Burkman, 10, police sources told the Blade. Lacie and Haley Burkman are from Redford, Mich., according to the Associated Press.

Six-month-old Vadi Griffin was pronounced dead after being taken to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.

Danny Griffin, 36, of Parkville, driver of the minivan, was in serious condition at St. Vincent this morning, the Blade reported. Sidney Griffin, 8, of Parkville, was in critical condition, hospital sources told the Blade; Beu Burkman, 8, address unknown, was in serious condition.

Toledo Assistant Fire Chief Luis Santiago says the minivan was hit by a pickup truck going north in the southbound lanes if Interstate 280 north of downtown, according to the Associated Press. Toys and gift wrap were seen strewn about the highway, Santiago said, indicating that the family may have been heading home from holiday visits.

Police told the Blade that Michael Gagnon, 24, of Adrian, Mich., the driver of the pickup, was injured and taken to St. Vincent, but the hospital did not provide the newspaper with information on a person bearing that name.

The Blade says Gagnon had been drinking at a bar and that employees at a Taco Bell he visited after leaving the bar reportedly notified police of an "intoxicated driver." The crash, the Blade reports, took place around 10:55 p.m.

A police report says the driver of the pickup truck smelled of alcohol, according to the Associated Press; Police are awaiting tests to determine if Gagnon was legally drunk.

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