Tragedy: No Seat Belts in Ohio Triple Fatal Crash That Claimed VFD Couple and Child, Injured Other Kids

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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.

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Couple Were Dedicated Volunteers

Both James and Meghann Nign were volunteers with the Calcutta Volunteer Fire Dept in East Liverpool, Ohio (Facebook Page).

They joined the department two years ago, The Morning Journal News reported.

Firefighters gathered there Sunday afternoon to mourn their passing and discuss plans for a ceremony to remember them. “They would help with anything and do anything,” Chief Scott Smith told the paper, adding that firefighters take it hard anytime one of their own dies, especially under these circumstances.”

The department is just 10 miles from New Manchester, WV, where three teens were killed Saturday night after crashing into a fire truck.

Earlier in the day Sunday, the Calcutta department has posted support for New Manchester on its Facebook wall, hours later it was their own department needing support.


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.

Police said a fourth person in the vehicle was transported to OSU Wexner Medical Center. There was no information available on that person’s condition.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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