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Second teen dead following 2-vehicle crash south of Oak Harbor

The incident occurred on State Route 19 Friday just before 6:30 p.m.

OTTAWA COUNTY, Ohio — EDITOR'S NOTE: The attached video originally aired on Feb. 3, 2022.

A second teen has died after a two-vehicle crash near Oak Harbor Friday evening.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said Sunday that Bret Gaskalla, the 18-year-old driver of one of the vehicles, died from his injuries after being transported to the hospital.

Gaskalla's passenger, 17-year-old Richard May, died at the scene Friday.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Gaskalla was headed northbound on SR 19 just before 6:30 p.m. Friday, while 34-year-old John Hurst was driving southbound on the same road.

Gaskalla lost control of his vehicle and slid sideways into the southbound lane. As a result, Hurst's vehicle hit Gaskalla's car on the passenger's side.

May was sitting in the passenger seat in Gaskalla's vehicle at the time of the crash. He died at the scene. According to police, he was wearing his seatbelt. 

Gaskalla suffered incapacitating injuries and according to OSHP, he was not wearing a seatbelt. He was taken by air ambulance to an area hospital where he later died.

On Sunday night, dozens of people from the community showed up to honor the young men at a vigil inside the Oak Harbor High School gym. 

May was a senior at the school. Gaskalla had also been a student at the school, graduating in 2021.

Credit: WTOL

The family of Richard May started a GoFundMe to raise money for his funeral expenses.

Hurst reportedly was wearing his seatbelt at the time and suffered only minor injuries. He was not transported from the scene.

The crash remains under investigation.


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