Summit County teenager killed in head-on crash - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Summit County teenager killed in head-on crash; family speaks

Katherine and her puppy. (Source: Family) Katherine and her puppy. (Source: Family)
Katherine and her Uncle, Vincent. (Source: Family) Katherine and her Uncle, Vincent. (Source: Family)
The Baback family, Katherine is on the far left. (Source: Family) The Baback family, Katherine is on the far left. (Source: Family)
MONTVILLE, OH (WOIO) -

Katherine Baback knew what she wanted in life. She wanted a puppy after their family pet died and she got it last week. She had faith beyond her years, and the 16-year-old preached the bible.

"She had a strong faith in God and was active with the youth group at church," said Katherine's Uncle, Vincent Baback. 

On Sunday, everything changed on River Styx Road, just south of Turnberry Drive. Katherine was in her Plymouth Acclaim with two girlfriends; Valerie Snyder, 15, and Earlena Couch, 16. They were on their way to a sleepover around 10:30 p.m.

Police said a Jeep Cherokee driven by 26-year-old Jeremy Goodrich was heading south and went left of center, hitting Baback's northbound car head on.

Katherine was pronounced dead at the scene. Her passengers were severely injured and had to be extricated from the car and life-flighted. Goodrich also suffered severe injuries and was life-flighted to MetroHealth, where he is in fair condition.

Lt. Matthew Neil with the Montville Police Department said, "We are going to do toxicology reports, cellphones, determine if there was a distraction."

Friends say Katherine swerved to stop the oncoming car from hitting her friends. Anyone who knew her knows she would sacrifice her life for a friend.  

"Words can't describe what it's like to have someone like that ripped our of your life," said Vincent Baback.

She lived her life to the fullest with her friends, family, and her puppy. She spent many precious moments with her father fishing in their backyard. 

"I think her faith is what prepared her for the moment. I can only imagine, and know she is in a good place, she is happy and free," said Vincent Baback. 

The roadway was closed for four hour while emergency workers worked to free the victims and police investigated the scene.

The crash remains under investigation; therefore, no charges have been issued.

The speed limit in that area of River Styx Road is 45mph.

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