By Margie Wuebker
A Celina teen was killed and another seriously injured Thursday afternoon in a single-car crash on Coldwater Creek Road, south of Johnston Road.
Dylon T. Feltz, 16, 5511 Johnston Road, was pronounced dead at the scene by Mercer County Coroner Dr. Timothy Heinrichs.
Matthew J. Mulligan, 16, 924 Wilkins St., Celina, was transported by ambulance to Mercer County Community Hospital, Coldwater, where he was listed in fair condition this morning.
Feltz was driving a 1991 Buick LeSabre southbound at 2:51 p.m., when it went off the right side of the road. He apparently brought the vehicle back onto the pavement before it went off the left side and struck two trees, according to Mercer County Sheriff's Office reports. The vehicle overturned at that point and struck a third tree causing part of the roof to collapse.
Deputies arrived on the scene to find the car on its side resting against the tree less than two feet from muddy creek water. A tow truck pulled the vehicle from the bank to the roadway before Coldwater firefighters and Mercer County Emergency Medical Services personnel freed the teens from the wreckage. The rescue effort involved removing part of the roof.
A CareFlight helicopter had been summoned to the scene, but the call was canceled when rescuers discovered Feltz had succumbed to his injuries. Both teens had on seat and shoulder belts.
Coldwater resident Bud Johnson witnessed the tragedy and was visibly shaken as he related details to sheriff's deputies at the scene. Johnson, 49, said he was driving a van pulling a trailer northeast on Coldwater Creek Road when he saw the car coming toward him.
"I saw him lose control and I got off the road and stopped," Johnson said. "When I saw him coming I knew he was going to wreck. (The car) actually skidded sideways in the ditch on the passenger side for some time before hitting the tree."
Johnson immediately used his cell phone to call 911 as he ran to see if he could help. He placed a second call to request a tow truck to tow the vehicle away from the bank.
"I got up to the car and tried to get to the kids. The top was smashed in and I couldn't open any of the doors," he said.
Mulligan reportedly stuck his arm out the rear seat window on the passenger side and Johnson grabbed it and hung on, he said.
"I asked him how his buddy (the driver) was and he said, 'He's not looking good, there's blood all over.' I told him to hold on, it'll be OK," Johnson said.
An unidentified woman had stopped to help and Johnson told her to hold the boy's hand so he could make the second emergency call. The woman later told The Daily Standard she didn't want to let go when rescue personnel arrived.
"I told him I'd stay with him," she said as tears streamed down her cheek.
The accident, which occurred on a straight-away not more than a mile from Feltz's home, is reportedly the third crash to occur within the vicinity in the past year or so.
Mercer County Chief Deputy Tim Fink told The Daily Standard that nothing at the scene suggested alcohol as a possible factor. He added determining the rate of travel would be difficult since the vehicle traveled off both sides of the road covering grass, gravel and pavement.
Rajean Feltz said her younger brother and his friend, both Celina High School sophomores, had just left the Feltz home and were heading to tennis practice.
"Dylon didn't know a stranger," she told The Daily Standard this morning. "He would do anything for anybody."
The youth started working recently at Casey Jones Restaurant in Celina and used his first paycheck to complete the purchase of a violin. Blessed with a love of music, he was a member of the school band and chorus.
He had achieved the rank of Life Scout on the road to Eagle -- the highest award in the Boy Scout program.
"My other brothers are Eagles and Dylon wanted to be one too," the grieving teen said in a voice choked with emotion. "He wanted to follow in their footsteps. Dylon pretty much accomplished whatever he set his mind on."
Counselors from throughout the Celina City Schools as well as local clergy came to the high school this morning to help grieving students.
"They are justifiably upset," said Kelly Hone, a guidance counselor at the middle school. "Some have been coming to speak one-on-one while others have come in groups."
The accident occurred less than 24 hours after a Coldwater man was pronounced dead following a Wednesday afternoon crash along Main Street in Coldwater.
Funeral arrangements for Feltz are pending at Cisco Funeral Home in Celina.