CALEDONIA — Two children died Monday evening when their family’s minivan crashed into a pond near the intersection of Whetstone River Road and Roberts Road, according to the Marion Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The accident occurred around 9:33 p.m. in Claridon Township in Marion County, according to the patrol.

A 2009 Honda Odyssey, driven by Cassandra Bautista, 30, of Caledonia, was southbound on Whetstone River Road and went through the intersection of Roberts Road without stopping, according to troopers.

Bautista continued off the left side of the road, where her vehicle struck a small tree and an embankment, according to the patrol.

Fatal crash map

The vehicle went airborne and landed on the bank of a pond and then rolled into the pond.

Bautista and her four children — ages 9, 7, 4, and 2 — were trapped in the water-filled vehicle.

Deputies, troopers, fire personnel, and bystanders assisted with removing the five victims trapped inside the vehicle and started life-saving efforts.

Bautista and her children were initially taken to Marion General Hospital. The 2-year-old was pronounced dead at Marion General Hospital and the 4-year-old was pronounced dead at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The driver and the two two children were all in critical condition, according to the patrol.

All occupants had their seatbelts on and two were in booster seats. The crash remains under investigation.

The patrol was assisted by Marion County Sheriff’s Office, First Consolidated, Pleasant Township, Fort Morrow, Marion Township Fire and EMS, Precision Towing and Ron’s Towing.

City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when...

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