BAUGHMAN TWP, Ohio - The Ohio State Highway Patrol is currently investigating a one-vehicle fatal crash in Wayne County Sunday morning.
Officials said the crash happened on County Road 7 (Chruch Road) East of State Route 94 around 5:10 a.m.
Earnest L. Nelson, 29, of Orrville, Ohio was westbound on County Road 7 in a blue 1997 Chevy Lumina sedan with two passengers. Nelson drifted off the right side of the road and became airborne. Nelson's vehicle traveled over a creek, struck the embankment, became airborne again and struck a tree. The vehicle then came to rest in a yard.
Nelson was wearing his seatbelt and was transported to Aultman Orrville Hospital by Dalton Fire and EMS. He was treated and released.
Nelson's front seat passenger, 29-year-old Lance Almond of Wooster, Ohio was wearing his seatbelt and was transported to Affinity Hospital in Massillon by Dalton Fire and EMS. Almond was treated and released.
Nelson's rear seat passenger, 25-year-old Tremale D. Thomas of Wooster, Ohio was pronounced dead at the scene. Thomas was transported to the Wayne County Coroner's Office. His seatbelt use is unknown at this time.
The reason Nelson drove off the road and the events leading up to the death of Tremale Thomas, including drug and alcohol involvement, remains under investigation.
This is the fourth fatal crash in Wayne County in 2013.