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2 dead, 2 injured after Lakewood crash; City Council discussing traffic, parking changes in response

Clifton Boulevard and Fry Avenue Lakewood
Posted at 8:12 AM, Feb 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 07:48:05-05

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Lakewood police are investigating a crash that left two people dead and two others injured early Sunday morning.

The crash happened around 2:15 a.m. near Clifton Boulevard and Fry Avenue.

Lakewood police said two vehicles were involved in the crash. Witnesses said one of the cars involved in the crash appeared to be torn in half.

The driver of the first vehicle was transported to Metro Hospital in unknown condition.

According to police, the driver and one passenger of the second vehicle were pronounced dead at the scene. Another passenger of the second vehicle was transported to Fairview Hospital in unknown condition.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner has identified the two crash victims as Alejandro R. Mercado, 19, of Lakewood and Maximus X. Close, 19, of Lakewood.

Police have not released the names of those involved in the crash, but Lakewood City Council President Dan O'Malley said one of the individuals involved was a recent graduate of Lakewood High School.

It is unknown if alcohol or drugs played a role in the crash, but despite the cause of the crash being undermined at this time, O'Malley said that City Council members are already working with police to see if changes could be made to keep drivers and residents safer in that area.

The council president said that there are numerous factors that cause poor driving visibility on Clifton Boulevard, including cars parked dangerously close to intersections.

"What I've asked for from our police department is data relative to that particular intersection so that we can see if this is part of a trend," O'Malley said. "We've got laws in place already that require people to park a certain distance back from the intersection, but there may be ways that we can extend that to make these intersections safer."

While O'Malley and City Council work to create solutions, Lakewood police will continue to investigate the crash.

"There's so much about this particular accident that we don't know about yet. It's a horrible tragedy," O'Malley said. "My heart breaks for the families of the victims."