Home News Triple Fatal Crash in Scioto County Claims Lives of Three Children

Triple Fatal Crash in Scioto County Claims Lives of Three Children


Lucaaville, OH – On Friday, May 24, 2024, at 1:26 p.m., the Portsmouth Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol received a report of a serious two-vehicle crash on SR 104 near milepost 13 in Morgan Township, Scioto County.

The crash involved a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier driven by Gage A. Smith, 22, of Piketon, who was traveling northbound on SR 104. After passing another northbound vehicle, Smith lost control, crossed the center line, and collided with a southbound 1994 Ford F-350 driven by Tyler M. Bellaw, 29, also of Piketon.

Courtney D. Copas, 28, of Piketon, was the front seat passenger in Smith’s vehicle. She was transported to Southern Ohio Medical Center and later to Grant Hospital with serious injuries.

Tragically, three children in the back seat of Smith’s vehicle did not survive the crash. The victims were Navy A. Copas, 4, Madison Q. Copas, 6, and Xavier A. Smith, 5.

Gage A. Smith was treated and released at Southern Ohio Medical Center before being incarcerated at the Scioto County Jail. He is suspected to have been under the influence of drugs, and impairment is believed to be a factor in the crash. Smith faces three counts of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, first-degree felonies, and one count of Aggravated Vehicular Assault, a second-degree felony.

The crash remains under investigation with the assistance of the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Department of Transportation, Morgan, Union, and Valley Township Fire Departments, Union, Kush, and Valley Township EMS, Portsmouth Ambulance, Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office, and Scioto County Child Protective Services.