EXCLUSIVE: Father speaks out after Ohio highway car crash kills 2 Capital Region children

STRONGSVILLE, OHIO (NEWS10) – A family confirms two children from our area were killed in a horrific car crash in Ohio, Saturday morning.

Three others were injured and their names will be released when they are confirmed.

The Capital Region is mourning after two young girls were killed in a car crash hundreds of miles away.

Payton Thatcher of Glens Falls and Tiarra Couture of Argyle were half-sisters, always attached at the hip.

Their mother, Nichole Underwood (Glens Falls), grandmother, Bonnie Underwood (Argyle) and half-brother, Carter Derusha-Underwood (Argyle) were the additional individuals in the vehicle.

Nichole Underwood and Carter Derusha-Underwood remain at a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Ohio State Highway Patrol said the accident happened just before 4:30 Saturday morning in Strongsville, about 20 miles from Cleveland.

A Subaru with two adults and three children was traveling on the state turnpike when a deer ran in the roadway.

Bonnie Underwood was driving the car as she swerved to miss the deer but still ended up hitting it.

A white semi-truck then struck the car in the rear.

Two of the children in the car died, the three other passengers have non-life-threatening injuries at this time.

The driver of the semi wasn’t hurt.

Nick Thatcher of Fort Edward says his 7-year-old daughter, Payton, along with her half-sister, 13-year-old, Tiarra Couture were both killed in the crash.

“They were just two beautiful angels that left this world and they shouldn’t have,” Thatcher said. “”I feel that I’ve lost a piece of me, a piece of my heart.”

Thatcher is devastated about what happened.

“It hurts to know that they went but in a sense it’s a good feeling to know that they went together,” Thatcher said. “They were all asleep when it happened. It happened instantly so there was no pain.”

Nick Thatcher’s close friend, Leeann Thorne feels his pain.

“You don’t know what that last hug is going to be, but Nick found out,” Thorne said.

Nick won’t be able to hug his daughter again. But, he says he isn’t mad at Bonnie as there was nothing else she could do.

“Things happen for a reason. Apparently God couldn’t handle them being down here so he needed to take them,” Thatcher said. “I’m glad that they passed together.”

Police are still investigating the crash.

Payton Thatcher attended Big Cross Elementary in the Glens Falls City School District and Tiarra Couture attended the Argyle Central School District.

The girls will have their funeral together.

A website has been set up to assist the families with bringing the girls home and funeral costs – GoFundMe Page.

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