Car hits four children in Coventry Township, killing two and leaving one in critical condition

Posted at 10:52 PM, May 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 15:08:09-04

A car struck four children near Portage Lakes Sunday, killing two and leaving one in critical condition.
The accident happened around 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon on South Main Street in Summit County's Coventry Township.
Coventry Middle School put out a reverse call to parents telling them about the tragedy. Two eighth grade girls, both 14 years old, were killed. A seventh-grade boy was seriously hurt, while another boy was hit, but not injured.

The Summit County Medical Examiner identified the girls Tuesday as Taylor Galloway of Akron and Amber Thoma of Coventry Township.

The accident happened in front of Dorothy Koopmeiner's house and she saw the driver.
“She got out of the car quite hysterical. I could hear her yelling. I didn’t see you, I didn’t see you and that’s when police came,” Koopmeiner said.

Koopmeiner said there are no sidewalks on that stretch of South Main and kids often walk on the road to go to the store or nearby park.

Neighbors told News 5 that they've had concerns for years. 

Classes are scheduled to resume on Tuesday at Coventry Middle School, but an eighth-grade graduation ceremony scheduled for Tuesday has been postponed. 

Lisa Blough, Assistant Superintendent of the Coventry Local School District, released the following statement:

On behalf of the Coventry Local School District, we are deeply saddened by the tragic accident involving four of our middle school students.  To begin, the district would like to thank the first responders, Coventry and Green Fire, Summit County Sheriff’s Department, and Coventry Township Trustees for their quick response, support, and compassion in this situation.  In addition, we want to note that the surrounding school districts and area churches have all reached out and offered their support and resources.

Foremost, we would like to give our sincere and deepest condolences to the families of the two young ladies who have lost their lives.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the young man who is currently in critical condition and we are extremely grateful for our fourth student who was uninjured. 

Out of respect for the children and their families, please know that specific details will be made available when released by local authorities.  However, it is important to know that the schools will be in session as regularly scheduled.  In addition, we want families to know that counselors, and other support personnel, will be available at all of our buildings to help any of our students in need.

"They were two very vibrant, bright, intelligent, beautiful young ladies," Coventry Middle School Principal Tina Norris said Monday.  

The Summit County Sheriff's Office identified the driver Tuesday as a 24-year-old New Franklin woman. Authorities say she went over the fog line and hit the children. 

Charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.