Three local residents injured in interstate crash

Three members of a well-known Columbus family were injured during a fiery head-on collision in Ohio over the weekend.

While Christine Lemley, 75, her daughter, Alexa Lemley, 41, and Alexa’s spouse, Samantha Aulick, 44, were all taken to a hospital, none sustained life-threatening injuries, Aulick said.

“Everybody is going to be OK,” said Aulick, who operates the 240sweet gourmet marshmallow company on North U.S. 31 in Columbus with Alexa Lemley.

The three women were returning home after participating in a food and beverage festival Saturday in New York City, said Christine Lemley’s other daughter, Quinn Lemley.

After filling up the gas tank of their sports-utility vehicle, the three were on Interstate 71 near Columbus, Ohio, and were traveling about 70 mph when the Sunday evening accident occurred, Aulick said.

As the result of a separate mishap in northbound lanes, a car veered into the I-71 median and onto the southbound lanes, where it struck the Ford Expedition driven by Aulick, she said.

While the impact caused the SUV to catch fire, all three women were able to escape their burning vehicle, Aulick said.

Christine Lemley, known as both a culinary expert and as a leader of the Interfaith Forum of Columbus, shattered her elbow and sustained various minor injuries, Aulick said.

Alexa Lemley injured her knee and sustained various sprains, while Aulick sustained a broken leg and is now wearing a neck brace, she said.

But the use of seat belts prevented all three women from having more serious injuries, Alexa Lemley said.

Aulick also said the skills she learned 15 years ago during a defensive driving class required by a former employer kicked in during the accident.

However, “our Ford Expedition chopped (the other vehicle) in half,” Alexa Lemley wrote on her social media page and confirmed in an interview.

There were concerns Sunday night whether the driver of the other car would survive, Quinn Lemley said. She was on the telephone talking with her mother when the crash occurred, she said.

“It was surreal,” Quinn Lemley said during a telephone interview. “I heard the crash, the sirens, the paramedics arriving as they happened.”

However, no details about the occupants of the other car were available from Ohio investigators Monday.

The local women were picked up from the Columbus, Ohio hospital and driven home several hours after the accident by Aulick’s sister, Mary Willey.

The crash marred what had been an otherwise successful trip for the trio.

At Saturday’s Bacon and Beer Classic in Brooklyn, it was announced that Alexa Lemley, a professional chef, is the winner of the “Golden Ticket” grand prize, an all-expense-paid trip to compete in the 2016 World Food Championships Nov. 9 to 13 in Orange Beach, Alabama.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.