DAYTON, Ohio – A car estimated to be going 54 mph over the speed limit struck railroad tracks on an Ohio road, went airborne and crashed early on New Year's Day, killing all five people inside, Dayton police said.
Police Lt. Larry Faulkner said the 1996 Pontiac Grand Prix was damaged so extensively by slamming into a fire hydrant, a utility pole and a fence that it "essentially disintegrated."
"It's bent in half, like a sandwich," he said.
The five victims, which included an 11-month-old boy, were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, reported just after midnight Thursday. The child was discovered last, buried at the bottom of the mangled wreckage.
"Initially, it was ugly. When we found the child, it became sickening," police Lt. John Bardun told Dayton station WHIO-TV.
The Montgomery County coroner's office identified the victims as Shawn Roush, 32, of Franklin; Trisha Roush, 33, and Dustin McDonald, 22, of Dayton; Nichole Hill, 29, and her 11-month-old son, Hayden Phann, both of Belbrook.
Investigators' preliminary estimate was that the car was going 89 mph on an industrial street about 2 miles northeast of downtown where the posted speed limit was 35 mph, Faulkner said.
The carload had been returning from at least one New Year's Eve party, according to police, who suspected alcohol was a factor in the crash.
"There was partying involved," Faulkner said firmly.