Two 6-year-old cousins were killed in an Ohio crash over the weekend after a 32-year-old man in a stolen police vehicle ran into the minivan they were traveling in at high speeds.
Officials confirmed Penelope Jasko and Eleanor McBride were killed in the incident, reported People magazine. Penelope’s mother had just picked them up from their first soccer game.
‘Inseparable’ 6-Year-Old Cousins Are Killed After Soccer Game in Crash With Stolen Police Car https://t.co/PC8HJbZPQA
— People (@people) August 29, 2019
Melissa Jasko, the mother, was driving the van. Six of her children and one of her sister’s children were in the vehicle.
Officials said that she was pulling away from the library when Raymond Walters Jr. ran a red light and slammed into the minivan and another vehicle, killing the two girls and injuring 10 others.
Walters is accused of stabbing his father in a truck before crashing. Police alleged that he then stole the cruiser.
The step-grandfather of the two girls, Ted Blackshear, described the cousins as “best friends,” reported the Dayton Daily News.
“They were born nearly together, they did most everything together, and they left together,” he said. “They were best friends.”
Tony Cutcher, the head pastor at St. Peter Catholic Church in Huber Heights, said the girls came from their first soccer game.
Hi friends! Wanted to share with you this GoFundMe page for friends of a friend of mine: https://t.co/OnmhLHtfxL
They lost two little 6-year-old girls (cousins!) in a tragic accident.
You can read more of the details here: https://t.co/lJeZwv3jsY
— Katie Yoder (@k_yoder) August 29, 2019
“They were more like twin sisters than cousins,” Cutcher told the publication. “They were so close.”
“You would look out on any given Sunday and see the children with their grandparents,” he said. “They were an amazing family, always a great family.”
A GoFundMe campaign said that Penelope and Eleanor “have always been inseparable and are now in the joy of heaven, together as always.”
It noted: “While the family grieves for this loss of life and light, two of their children continue to recover at the hospital. No amount of money can return those sweet girls to life. What is needed most is prayers for the healing of bodies and souls.”
Stabbing and Crash
Walters has a lengthy rap sheet, including robbery, assault, and menacing. He was released from prison last month, People reported.
Although no charges have been filed against him, investigators are discussing charging him with several counts of murder.
According to WLWT, Dayton police alleged that Walters Jr. stabbed his father Lloyd Walters before fleeing the scene.
“One of my friends just said, ‘Some man just got beat up,’ and I ran down the steps. He was coming across the street staggering. I said, ‘Come over here and sit down’ because no one would help him, they just kept on riding along,” witness Yolanda Davis told the station.
Lloyd Waters had extensive injuries, she said.
“Blood was just pouring like water,” Davis said. “I said, ‘Who did this to you?’ He said, ‘My son tried to kill me.'”
After that, he stole his father’s truck and left before crashing into a tree. When police tried to apprehend the younger Walters, he was able to hijack a police cruiser despite being shocked with a Taser, officials said.
“A Riverside officer tased the suspect in an attempt to stop the theft of the cruiser. The Taser was ineffective, and the suspect fled in the police cruiser,” Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said.
That’s when he tried to evade police and sped away at a high rate of speed, heading toward downtown Dayton.
“I seen the cruiser. He was just flying. I was like, ‘Why doesn’t he have his lights on?’ I thought it was a little strange,” witness Mary Creamer said. “He was just flying with no lights on, and the next thing you know, it was a chain reaction. He just slammed into these cars.”