Niles woman dies in Florida traffic crash
A Niles woman and a classmate were killed early Saturday in a traffic crash in the Florida panhandle that sent seven others to the hospital.
Courtney Miller, 21, of Niles, was set to graduate from The Ohio State University in two months and then was planning to get her doctorate in education from Youngstown State University, according to a family friend.
According to a Florida Highway Patrol crash report, Brittney Gallagher, 21, of Willoughby, was driving near Ebro, Fla., on Saturday morning in a 2000 Dodge four-door vehicle when she drifted into opposing traffic. Troopers said Gallagher’s attempts to correct the problem caused her vehicle to cross into the path of a pickup truck driven by Kelly Porter, 26, of Stillwater, Okla.
Gallagher and Miller – who was beside her in the passenger seat – were pronounced dead at the scene. Troopers said each was wearing a seat belt.
“There’s so much to say,” said Bob Miller, her father. “She was very outgoing and everybody loved her.”
He said she wanted to be a teacher in lower education and loved her two sisters.
“She was such a great older sister and young sister,” Miller said.
Two other passengers, Diana Mitchell, 22, of Solon, Okla., and Lauren Kane, 22, of Willoughby, were hospitalized in critical condition.
They were all spring break visitors returning to Ohio, Walton County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Bill May told the Northwest Florida Daily News.
Porter was hospitalized in serious condition. One of Porter’s passengers, Braden Solis of Oklahoma City, was hospitalized with minor injuries. Three other passengers – Tyler Magar, 22, of Yukon, Okla., Courtney Burnett, 23, of Edmond, Okla., and Matthew Gallant, 21, of Oklahoma City – were hospitalized with serious injuries.
According to WJHG-TV in Panama City, Gallagher and her passengers were all OSU students. Porter, Solis and Magar are students at Oklahoma State University. Gallant attends the University of Oklahoma. Burnett goes to Southeast Missouri State.
Authorities said alcohol was not a factor in the crash.