WAYNE TOWNSHIP, Ohio (AP) — Six people were killed in two separate triple fatal car accidents in Ohio Sunday, including an 11-year-old girl who police said was ejected from the rear cargo area of an SUV carrying two adults and seven children, only three of whom were properly restrained.
Addisyn Benzel, 11, was thrown from the cargo area of the vehicle after a driver of a car heading the other direction crossed over the center line on a roadway in Columbiana County, about 40 miles south of Youngstown, said Ohio Highway Patrol Staff Lt. Anne Ralston.
The driver of the SUV, 39-year-old James Nign and his 27-year-old wife, Meghann Nign, were also killed in the accident around 11 a.m. Sunday. Six other children in the Chevy Equinox, including a 6-year-old sitting on Meghann Nign's lap, were taken to area hospitals, police said, but their conditions were unknown Sunday night.
Highway Patrol said that none of the three who were killed were wearing seat belts. Three children, ages 9 months to 4 years old, were in child safety seats, but two other 11-year-old victims were not wearing seatbelts.
Ralston said the driver of the Jeep Cherokee that struck the Nign's car, Rachel Lindesmith, 31, of Hanoverton, was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, along with her 9-month-old son. Lindesmith was wearing her seatbelt and her son was in a child safety seat, police said.
Ralston said an investigation is ongoing and Lindesmith has not been charged.
In the second fatal car accident, three people were killed after a car ran off the road and crashed into a tree in central Ohio Sunday night. The Ohio Highway Patrol said that three people in the car died at the scene on state route 229 in Delaware County, 40 miles north of Columbus. Video from WBNS-10TV in Columbus shows snow blown onto the roadway where the crash occurred.
Driver James W. Wyatt III, 33, died along with his sister, Elizabeth Wyatt, 28, and her daughter, Isabella Zins Master, according to Highway Patrol Sgt. Robert Curry. Elizabeth Wyatt and her daughter were sitting in the back seat of the car and all three lived in Marion, Curry said.
The front-seat passenger, Jessica Wray, 22, of Alexandria, Va., was James Wyatt's fiance, Curry said. She was listed in critical condition at the OSU Wexner Medical Center.