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AREA NEWS Troopers investigating crashes that may involve alcohol

DGKN staff report

Ohio Highway Patrol troopers are investigating fatal crashes over the past week where alcohol and/or drugs appear to be a factor.

A two-vehicle fatal crash on June 4 left a man dead after he struck a windshield and was pulled down the roadway by horses, according to a news release.

Eli A. Miller, 33, of Big Prairie, Ohio was operating a John Deere implement pulled by two horses in Clinton Township along state Route 226 west of Newkirk Road. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Wayne County Coroner Office.

A Millersburg woman was operating a 2008 Acura RDX. She was transported to Wooster Community Hospital and she was wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Initial investigation revealed Miller was traveling west on State Route 226, the news release states. The driver of the Acura also was traveling west on State Route 226 and failed to maintain an assured clear distance, striking Miller in the rear, and her vehicle came to a stop in the westbound lane. After impact, Miller struck the windshield of the Acura and he was then pulled down the roadway by the horses.

Assisting on scene were the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, Holmes County Sheriff’s Department, Clinton Township and West Holmes Fire and EMS, Wirt Towing, and the Wayne County Coroner Office.

Alcohol and/or drugs do appear to be a factor at this time, the news release states. This is the sixth fatal crash in Wayne County this year.

In Ashland County, troopers are investigating a fatal crash involving a GMC Terrain and a BMW Motorcycle on State Route 97 near ODNR Mohican Road 51.

On June 6 at about 4:35 p.m., a 2018 GMC Terrain was eastbound on State Route 97 when it went left of center and struck a westbound 2002 BMW motorcycle head on. The driver of the motorcycle was ejected upon impact with the GMC Terrain. The 30-year-old Akron driver of the GMC Terrain was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the motorcycle, Randall L. Beecham, 69, of Bellville, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

State Route 97 was closed for approximately three and a half hours.

Other agencies assisting at the crash scene were: Loudonville Fire and EMS, Ashland County ODNR, Ashland County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ohio Department of Transportation.

Alcohol is considered a factor in the crash, the news release states.

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