ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – One New Yorker was killed and two others were injured after a crash in Ohio Tuesday and Wednesday, they were identified as RIT students.
Matthew Eskeli, 20 of Falconer, New York died from injuries sustained in the crash. Zachary Cooper, 21 of Brockport, New York, and Benjamin Cooper, 22 of Corning, New York were transported to an Ohio hospital for treatment.
Ohio State Highway Patrol officials say a driver in a BMW was speeding down I-70 in Springfield, Ohio when it hit a Ford Focus carrying the RIT students. Authorities say the Focus spun out, hit a light pole, and flipped upside down.
The driver of the BMW, 37-year-old Mark Terrell of South Charleston, Ohio and a passenger were not injured in the crash. Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash. Terrell was booked into the Clark County Jail on suspicion of vehicular homicide and tampering with evidence, but charges have not been formally filed.
All three students were members of the RIT Electric Vehicle Team returning to New York after competing in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb motorcycle competition in Colorado.
Sandra Johnson, RIT’s Senior Vice President of Student Affairs, released a statement, saying in part:
“On behalf of everyone at RIT, I want to extend my deepest sympathies to family and friends at this tragic time.
The sudden death of a member of our community takes an enormous emotional toll on all of us. As we grieve together, please know there are a variety of services available to students, faculty, and staff. Students seeking support can contact the Counseling and Psychological Services office. Staff are available from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday throughout the summer. To schedule an appointment, call (585) 475-2261. For after-hours support, students can call the Mental Health Support Line at (855) 436-1245. In the case of an emergency, please call 911 or if you are on campus, contact RIT Public Safety at (585) 475-3333 (V/TTY) or text (585) 205-8333.“