A church leader said two families “bringing up their kids in the right way” will get support from him and their faith as they cope with the deaths of two children killed when a stolen police cruiser struck the van they were in as they dropped off a library book.
Cousins Penelope Jasko of Dayton and Eleanor McBride of Huber Heights, both 6, were killed in the crash about 7:30 p.m. Monday, according to Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger.
“This is an incredibly tragic event for our city, particularly for the families impacted,” said Dayton police Chief Richard Biehl. “I ask you keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”
Fr. Satish Joseph was with the families at the hospital and said he knows both families personally.
The Jasko family are members of his parish, Immaculate Conception Church and St. Helen. Joseph said he has baptized some of the children in both the Jasko and McBride families.
Joseph said the families are “quintessential Catholic” families.
“They are respectful, kind, just good, healthy, wholesome kids,” Joseph said. “And the parents are good wholesome parents who are bringing up their kids in the right way.”
Melissa Jasko was driving a minivan with six of her children and at least one child of her sister’s, Sarah McBride, when the crash occurred.
“Everyone in the car was injured in some way or another,” Joseph said.
The family had finished dropping off a library book and was pulling away from the curb of the library when the stolen police cruiser ran a red light at South Patterson Boulevard and struck the minivan and one other car.
Police said Raymond Walters Jr. stabbed his father in a black pickup truck, then crashed that truck and stole a Riverside police cruiser that eventually crashed into Jasko’s vehicle, killing the two children. A third child is in critical condition.
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SOURCE: Dayton Daily News, Cornelius Frolik