Friends, teachers, co-workers, and extended family members all expressed their shock and sorrow on social media Sunday evening, in response to the tragic deaths of two local teenagers.
Dillion Grooms, 18, of West Union and Hayley Grooms, 18, of Blue Creek were making plans to spend the rest of their lives together following Dillion’s Christmas Eve proposal of marriage.
Both Dillion and Hayley attended the Ohio Valley Career and Technical Center (CTC) in West Union.
The CTC principal, Jason Vesey told the Defender, “Hayley completed the APS (Administrative Professional Support) program and Dillion completed the Auto Tech program at the CTC. They were both were very successful, earning high academic marks and making positive contributions to their programs. As a part of her program, Haley worked in the office and always provided staff and students with a bright smile and was eager to help out with anything she could do. Dillion was active with demolition derby cars and always worked with other Auto Tech students to prepare their cars for upcoming derby events. Students like Haley and Dillion represent the best of what we do at the CTC, it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to these two CTC alums.”
The Ohio State Highway Patrol and other first responders were called to the scene of the two-car accident near the Timber Ridge Apartment complex on State Route 247 and Jane Street, at approximately 5 pm.
According to State Highway Patrolman Joshua Hunter, Dillion Grooms was driving southbound on 247 in a 2001 Ford Mustang. Hayley Grooms was a passenger in the car. After cresting a hill with a slight left curve Grooms entered a counter-clockwise spin, went left of center and stuck an oncoming car driven by Ivan Ward, 73 of West Union.
Ward was traveling northbound in a 1999 Cadillac Deville. Road conditions are believed to have been a factor in the accident.
Both teens were pronounced dead at the scene by the Adams County Coroner’s office.
Mr. Ward was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in Cincinnati by the West Union Life Squad. His injuries were not life threatening. He was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.
Patrolman Hunter reported that neither teen was wearing a seat belt.
Drugs and alcohol are not considered to be factors in the accident.
The West Union Police Department, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, and the West Union Fire/Emergency Medical Services assisted at the scene.
The crash remains under investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Georgetown Post.
According to records kept by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the deaths of the two teens raises the number of car accident fatalities in Adams County in 2015 to five.
The OSHP encourages all motorists to buckle up. From 2011 — 2013 more than half of the people killed on Ohio’s roadways were not wearing a safety belt. Safety belts save lives and reduce injury in crashes. It is the easiest thing you can do to protect yourself, your family and your friends.