Victims of fiery Wayne Co. crash identified

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CENTERVILLE – Wayne County authorities have identified two people who died after a car caught fire near Centerville.

Ronnie Joe Pratt, 62 and Deborah L. Pratt, 62, both from Indianapolis, died Sunday after the car they were riding in erupted in flames on westbound Interstate 70 near the 147 mile marker.

The driver, Thomas Barham II, and another passenger, Tina Brooks, survived the accident. Barham was treated at Reid Memorial Hospital. Brooks was taken to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio.

A witness told police that he was following the vehicle just before the accident. The car started drifting left and then exploded. The car drove into the median and went on its side before coming to a stop.

The witness told police he tried to help, but was unable to because the fire was too intense.

Investigators recovered two oxygen cylinders in the vehicle—one in the trunk and another inside the vehicle.

The fire forced police to close westbound lanes of I-70 near Centerville for almost three hours.


    • Tim

      First of all, you probably can't read yourself, because you sure can't spell.
      Two people lost thier lives and two people were seriously injured.
      The oxygen was turned off but was leaking out. Since oxygen has no smell they were unaware of it.
      Why don't you idiots think about what you're posting in a very sensitive situation.
      There are a lot of people who's lives have been affected by this.
      To anyone else who has a smart*ss remark to make, please think before you type.

  • Ashley H

    Thank you Angela! I think it is very rude to comment on a story like this in that manner. You have no idea who these people were to make assumptions like that. Just an FYI they were wonderful people and will be in the hearts of EVERYBODY that knew them. I'm very sorry for this family's loss, it truely was a sad day for them.

  • lilmomma

    Ashley, and Wanda….You knew them? Because, I knew Ronnie Pratt. It is a tragic loss, and yes alot of people are affected by this. GOD, rest their souls

  • myidzmom

    @Tim, leaking vs not leaking. There is a reason peple are warned not to have a fire around oxygen tanks. Hopefully some other idiot that smokes will learn from this. Why didn't the person with the cigarette care about the decreased lung capacity of the person on oxygen? Loving caring people also have a brain.

  • Christina

    The lack of compassion and sensitivity for human life never ceases to amaze me. People in general make decisions on a day to day basis that sometimes result in life changing outcomes. No one would intentionally make a choice that would ultimately involve lives lost as well as two lives that are forever changed. The four individuals involved in this horrific ACCIDENT were wonderful people. For those that want to talk about intelligence or lack of brain capacity, the definition of accident is as follows: unplanned and unfortunate event that results in damage, injury, or upset of some kind. Clearly there are perfect people in this world that never make poor decisions or bad choices.

  • anon

    Obviously, the oxygen tanks fed the fire & caused it to be too intense for the person who witnessed the accident to be able to get to anybody; that nightmare will forever be seared into his memory as well as the 2 people who survived. Also, somebody in the car apparently needed oxygen, otherwise the tanks wouldn't have been in the car. My sympathies to their family and all who knew them. Placing blame does no good.

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