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Head-on crash causes teen passenger's death

A head-on crash between two vehicles close to Wakeman Township, Ohio, took the life of a teen passenger in a vehicle driven by a 20-year-old male motorist from Tiffin. The accident occurred at approximately 12:30 a.m. Investigating officers from the Ohio Highway Patrol say that the young driver was unable to control his vehicle on U.S. 20. His 2006 Chevrolet Malibu went across the center line in the road while traveling west, and crashed into a car gong east driven by a 59-year-old male driver from Canfield. The roadway was described as ice-covered.

As in many Ohio car accidents, seat belt use was a factor in the extent of injuries for some vehicle occupants. The driver of the second vehicle, a 2003 Chrysler Malibu, was complying with the mandatory seat belt law, and he suffered injuries that medical personnel described as "non-incapacitating." His 24-year-old female passenger, on the other hand, was taken to Fisher-Titus medical facility by emergency personnel after suffer injuries in the back seat while not wearing a seat belt. After an evaluation, medical personnel characterized her injuries as "incapacitating."

The younger driver also suffered incapacitating injuries despite wearing his seatbelt. and was hospitalized in Cleveland at the MetroHealth Medical Center. One of his three passengers, a 19-year-old woman from Canfield, died from injuries incurred in the right rear passenger seat while not secured by a seat belt. "Incapacitating injuries" were also suffered by the front seat passenger, a 57-year-old Canfield woman wearing her seat belt, and the left rear passenger, a 23-year old Canfield man whose seat belt status was not reported.

The investigation of the accident included the use of a crash reconstruction team from the State Highway Patrol. On icy roads, motorists need to exercise more caution while driving, and slowing down may often be advisable to avoid losing control of one's vehicle. Accident victims and the surviving families of those who die in car accidents may be able to pursue personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against drivers at fault. Recovery can be sought for medical and funeral expenses, pain and suffering, lost income and services, and ongoing disability, as well as other damages.

Source: Norwalk Reflector, "Teen killed in early-morning crash near Wakeman" Staff, Dec. 26, 2013

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