MARION, Ohio (WCMH) – Two children are dead and three others are injured after a one-car crash in Marion County on Monday night.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a woman and her four children were involved in a one-car crash when the 2009 Honda Odyssey the mother was driving vaulted off an embankment and into a pond near the intersection of Whetstone River and Roberts roads in Claridon Township.

A 911 call just after 9 p.m. tipped dispatchers off that something was wrong, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. Dispatchers could not understand the call but heard screams in the background before the line went dead. Two more calls came in from near Whetstone River and Roberts roads, and dispatchers determined callers were occupants of a vehicle submerging under water.

“This is an unthinkable tragedy that happened last night” Marion County Sheriff Matt
Bayles said in a press release. “It is every first responder’s nightmare scenario when they pull up on a scene such as this one.”

The OSHP said the woman drove through the Roberts Road intersection without stopping. The car careened off the left side of the road, hit a small tree, went airborne off of an embankment and landed on a bank of a small pond. The car then rolled into the pond, where water soon filled up in the vehicle.

A firefighter used a paddleboard to swim out to the van, which was fully submerged but for its roof, and climbed atop it, according to the sheriff’s office. He broke a window with a baseball bat, and with deputies swimming out to join him, they removed three occupants from the vehicle.

Emergency personnel attached a chain to the car and used a fire department vehicle to pull it closer to the shore, the sheriff’s office said. The other two occupants were then removed from the car, and medical treatment began immediately.

The five victims were taken to Marion General Hospital, where a 2-year old was pronounced dead. The mother, 30, and three children ages four, seven and nine, were flown to Columbus-area hospitals for treatment, according to the sheriff’s office. The 4-year-old was pronounced dead at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, while the mother and remaining children are in critical condition.

All victims were wearing their seatbelts and two were in booster seats, according to the OSHP.