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SR 517 crash still under investigation

LISBON — A 19-year-old Youngstown woman is in critical condition after being ejected from a vehicle on state Route 517 Friday, according to the highway patrol.

The crash remains under investigation by Trooper Megan Faith, who said on Saturday that Kelsey Woods, 19, was a passenger in the 2007 Saturn Ion driven by Gerald Preston Gum Jr., 20, North Market Street, Lisbon.

According to preliminary reports, Gum was westbound on state Route 517 when he went left of center and struck an eastbound 2001 Mercury Villager head-on that was driven by Lauren Paterson, 38, West Garfield Road.

After impact, both vehicles went off the right side of the road, at which point Woods was ejected and Paterson’s vehicle caught fire, Faith said.

The fire was put out by Center Township police officer Tab Bailey, who used a fire extinguisher.

Woods was conscious at the scene and taken by Stat MedEvac medical helicopter to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown with serious injuries. On Saturday her condition was listed as critical, Faith said.

Gum and Paterson were also still in the Youngstown hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Faith said that it took Lisbon firefighters several hours to extricate Paterson from her vehicle, removing the roof in the process.

Faith said that Gum told her his tire blew out before he lost control of the vehicle, although the extent of the damage to the vehicle made it difficult to confirm.

County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Shulas, who was also eastbound on state Route 517, witnessed the accident and said that speed appeared to be a factor, Faith said.

She also said that alcohol does not appear to be a factor. A left center citation is pending for Gum, she added.

Assisting the patrol at the scene were the Center Township and Elkrun Township fire departments, Center Township Police Department, and County Sheriff’s Office.

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