Patrol: Driver in fatal Clark County crash swerved to avoid parked car

One woman is dead and two people person have been injured after they were struck by a car Tuesday morning in Clark County.

Dena Portis, 32, and a teenager were struck about 7:18 a.m. on Old Springfield Road near Buffenbarger Road, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

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A family member called Portis because their vehicle had broken down, troopers said. She arrived in the area and parked her Jeep Renegade westbound car in the eastbound lane, Sgt. Merrill Thompson said. The two vehicles were facing each other in an effort to jump the car that wasn’t working.

They were unsuccessful and later pushed it off the road. The Jeep remained parked in the road.

A 2006 Ford Focus driven by Stephanie Weaver, 24, of Chillicothe, then crested the hill, heading eastbound. Weaver swerved to avoid hitting the Jeep head-on, troopers said, striking the left side of the Jeep and two pedestrians — Portis and Ta’Vaughn Tilley, 19, both of Springfield.

Portis was pronounced dead at the scene, troopers said. Tilley was flown to Miami Valley Hospital by CareFlight medical helicopter with serious injuries. He was listed in fair condition Tuesday evening.

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Weaver wasn’t injured, troopers said. At this time, authorities don’t believe she was under the influence.

A witness, Destiny Scruggins, 19, of Springfield, was inside the Jeep and was transported by medics to Springfield Regional Medical Center for unknown injuries, troopers said.

An investigation is underway and when it’s done, Thompson said it will be presented to a prosecutor to determine if charges will be filed.

The time of day may have played a part in the crash, Thompson said.

“It was dark at the time,” he said. “So the driver that was eastbound that swerved to avoid, she said she didn’t see the vehicle parked in the roadway. She swerved to avoid a vehicle.”

Pedestrians and drivers need to be more aware and less distracted, he said. Drivers should look ahead at traffic to plan for a sudden stop ahead, Thompson said.

“I recommend to people if you are outside of your vehicle, especially if it’s dark, have a flashlight or something reflective on if you do plan on being outside of the vehicle that way someone can see you,” Thompson said.

Drivers should also avoid standing or walking in the roadway. If you must be outside your vehicle, he said to stay off the roadway and pay attention to any cars coming.

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