Women dies from injuries after Lucasville crash

Published 1:33 pm Friday, May 31, 2024

LUCASVILLE – On Friday, the Portsmouth Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol confirmed that a woman that was hospitalized after a crash on Friday, May 24, has died from her injuries.

A press release from the Portsmouth OSHP Post said it had received confirmation from the Franklin County Coroner’s Office that passenger Courtney D. Copas had succumbed to her injuries she sustained in the crash.

A Piketon man has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide after his vehicle crashed into an oncoming vehicle and killed three children in the car.

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According to a release from the Portsmouth OSHP Post, they got a call around 1:26 p.m. on May 24 about a serious two-vehicle crash on State Route 104 near milepost 13.

The OSHP said that Gage A. Smith, 22, of Piketon, was driving a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier northbound on State Route 104. After passing another northbound vehicle, Smith lost control, traveled left of center and struck an oncoming southbound vehicle, a 1994 Ford F-350 being driven by Tyler M. Bellaw, 29, of Piketon.

Courtney D. Copas, 28, of Piketon, was a passenger in Smith’s car and was transported to Southern Ohio Medical Center and later to Grant Hospital with serious injuries.

Smith also had three children in the back seat of his car, Navy A. Copas, 4, Madison Q. Copas, 6, and Xavier A. Smith, 5. All three children are deceased and did not survive the crash.

Smith was treated and released at SOMC and incarcerated at the Scioto County Jail.

The OSHP reported that Smith was suspected to be under the influence of drugs of abuse and impairment is believed to be a factor in the crash. He is being charged with three counts of first-degree felony aggravated vehicular homicide, felonies of the first degree, and one count of second-degree felony aggravated vehicular assault.

The Portsmouth OSHP Post did not state whether or not any additional charges would be added after the passing of Copas.

The crash remains under investigation.

Local agencies assisted with the investigation including the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Department of Transportation, Morgan, Union and Valley Township Fire Departments, Union, Rush and Valley Township EMS, Portsmouth Ambulance, Scioto County Prosecutors Office and Scioto County Child Protective Service.