Double tragedy: After pregnant mother dies in crash, surgically delivered son dies in hospital

Craig Kelly

January 18, 2014

LIMA — A two-vehicle accident Thursday claimed its second, and youngest, victim late Friday.

Conner Jace Domaika, son of Ashley Dyer, 20, of Lima, died at 10:15 p.m. Friday at Toledo Children’s Hospital. Dyer had died at 7:53 p.m. Thursday, after her vehicle had slid into the path of a sport utility vehicle on state Route 117 near the Allen County Fairgounds. Slick road conditions led to the crash.

Dyer was seven months pregnant at the time of the crash. Medical personnel had surgically removed the baby at Lima Memorial Heath System, with the child immediately taken to Toledo Children’s.

News of Conner’s death was first released through the Facebook page of Daryl & Daryl’s Pizza & Wings, Dyer’s place of employment. According to Lisa Godfrey, a manager at Daryl & Daryl’s, losing both Dyer and her baby has been a devestating loss for everyone.

“We’re handling it,” she said. “It’s so sad up here. There’s still tears among all of us.”

Godfrey and the rest of the staff were hopeful that the baby would pull through.

“I was hoping after 24 hours that he’d have a chance,” she said. “To see a picture of Conner, he looked normal.”

Godfrey has maintained contact with Dustin Domaika, Conner’s father.

“Dustin was hoping to hang onto a part of Ashley with Conner,” she said.

Originally from Salyersville, Ky., Dyer had worked at Daryl & Daryl’s for about two years during two different stints with the carryout. Godfrey has fond memories of working with her.

“Ashley was actually a friend of our family’s, and that’s how she got the job here,” she said. “She was one of those hard workers who said, ‘I don’t care what hours I work.’”

Dyer was on her way to work Thursday when the accident occurred.

“She lived only 10 minutes from here,” Godfrey said. “We all said, ‘Well, if she’d have driven the truck,’ or ‘If she’d have done this,’ you know?”

Godfrey later relayed a message from Domaika thanking the community for its outpouring of support, including more than 140 messages on Facebook.

“He said they really appreciate all the prayers and support from the community,” she said. “They mean a lot to them, and they can’t believe how many people care.”

According to Godfrey, a viewing is planned for Monday and Tuesday at Salyersville Funeral Home in Kentucky, with a funeral planned for Wednesday. No times for the viewing or funeral were available late Saturday.

“We are going to donate 10 percent of the proceeds from food sold here next Friday and Saturday to help the family,” Godfrey said. “We’ve also got jars at both of our drive-thru locations, and there’s a fund set up at Superior Federal Credit Union.”

Godfrey and the rest of the staff at Daryl & Daryl’s continue to ask for prayers for Domaika as well as the Dyer family.

“We will miss Little Ashley Marie Dyer,” the carryout’s Facebook post said. “Take care of your little Angel, Conner.”