Solon girl, mother killed in crash on I-77 bridge

2:53 PM, Apr 20, 2011   |    comments
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WILLIAMSTOWN, W.Va. -- Authorities are investigating a fiery collision between a tanker truck and a car that killed three people, including a Solon mother and her daughter, on an Interstate 77 bridge over the Ohio River.

The tanker carrying liquid nitrogen caught fire after it rear-ended a 1999 Saab around 8:15 p.m. Monday.

The bridge links Williamstown and Marietta, Ohio.

Police say the tanker's driver, Eugene Fox, 62, of Mount Morris, Pa., saw the car sitting idle on the bridge and unsuccessfully swerved to miss it.

Fox wasn't injured but three people in the car were killed, two being a Solon mother and her daughter.

According to Solon schools, Maliyah Jones, a fifth-grader at Orchard Middle School, died Monday night in the accident. Schools officials also said Maliyah's mother, Malaka Jones, died in the same crash.

There was no word on the third victim.

No nitrogen was released from the tanker. The bridge was closed following the wreck and traffic was rerouted. All four lanes reopened Tuesday morning.

Maliyah has three siblings in the school district at Parkside and Solon High School, where Antonio, Dayna and Khrystian attend.

Here's part of the letter sent out from Solon schools:

"The thoughts and prayers of the Solon Schools' community today are with the family of Maliyah Jones, a Solon student who passed away last night in a tragic accident. Maliyah was a fifth grader at Orchard Middle School. For those students who knew Maliyah well, the guidance counselor and psychologist at Orchard are prepared to help them address their feelings of loss."

"The school counselors, administrators and all staff will have an open-door policy to assist students who need to talk or need reassurance at any time. Counselors will also be available at the other Solon Schools (Parkside and Solon High School) where Maliyah's siblings Antonio, Dayna and Khrystian attend."

"In addition, the Bereavement Center of Hospice of the Western Reserve, which helps schools handle situations such as this, can provide assistance to students and families as well. The number for the Bereavement Center is (216) 486-6838. The counselors at the Bereavement Center stress that it is important for families to understand that each child deals with loss in his or her own way."

"The most important thing for parents to do is to be supportive and listen to their children if they need to talk. Some children won't want to talk about a loss and move on as if nothing has happened. This also is a normal response. A resource guide for Common Grief Reactions is attached and is also posted on the home page of each of the Solon Schools to assist parents."

WKYC-TV/The Associated Press

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