The Muskingum County Sheriff's Office says deputies are investigating a deadly crash between a car and semi truck.
The two vehicles struck head-on Wednesday afternoon near the intersection of Powelson Road and Northpoint Drive in Muskingum County.
The pavement was dry at the time at about 2:30 p.m. when a blue Chevrolet Cavalier driven by Phillip Hackenbracht heading southbound appeared to have crossed the center line, head-on into the path of a northbound 18-wheeler that was hauling a full load of coal.
Police say the truck driver tried to swerve out of the way, but the two collided, causing the truck to overturn and crushing the car. 21-year-old front-seat passenger Nadine Corder and her four-year-old son Aries, who was in the back seat, died in the crash.
Crash reconstruction experts still have to figure out why that car crossed center in the first place. Lt. Matt Boyd of the Ohio State Highway Patrol says it hard to understand at this point why the crash occurred. “Sometimes medical things happen or you get distracted for one reason or another, or you know, mechanical difficulties with the vehicle. It's really hard to say at this point. But we'll do a thorough investigation to determine, the best we can, what occurred."
Hackenbracht is at Grant Medical Center with serious injuries, although there is no official condition. The 63-year-old driver of the truck was taken to Genesis Bethesda Hospital in Zanesville. His injuries were reportedly non-life threatening.
No alcohol or drugs are suspected to be a factor in the crash.