Teen girl Sierra Thornton killed in Ravenna Township train versus SUV collision
7:15 PM, Oct 6, 2013
4:45 PM, Oct 7, 2013
RAVENNA TOWNSHIP, Ohio - A 15-year-old girl was killed Sunday night in a train versus SUV collision in Ravenna Township, said deputies.
The crash happened around 5:51 p.m. Sunday on South Prospect Street near Summit Road at a private railroad crossing with no crossing gate.
Portage County sheriff's deputies said Sierra Thornton was out driving with her dad and four younger sisters.
Deputies said they believe the teen girl panicked while on the tracks when a train was coming, and couldn't get out of the way in time.
The train struck the vehicle. Thornton died at the scene.
Her four sisters, ages ranging between 7 and 15, were injured, as well as the girls' father.
Deputies said the dad was taken to Robinson Memorial Hospital and the girls were taken to Akron Children's Hospital. Their conditions were not released.
Deputies said the area was shut down until approximately 11 p.m. Sunday as the Portage County Sheriff's Department and Norfolk Southern Railway completed their investigation.
Thornton was a sophomore at Ravenna High School. The high school added a message to its electronic sign Monday, reading, "Dear Sierra, You will always be in our hearts and dearly missed."
The Ravenna First Church of the Nazarene, Thornton's church, will hold a candle light vigil 7 p.m. Monday to remember Sierra. The church is located on Brady Lake Road and sits right beside Sun Beau Valley.