Two die on county highways in three-hour span


By Carol McIntire



CARROLLTON – With a span of three hours Friday, two people died as a result of injuries sustained on highways in Carroll County.

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a crash on SR 9 that claimed the life of a Carrollton man and the New Philadelphia Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSP) is investigating a crash on SR 171 that claimed the life of a Magnolia woman.

The county 911 dispatch center received a call at 3:36 p.m. about the accident on SR 9 between Moccasin and Mackel roads. While emergency personnel were on the scene at that crash, the dispatch center received a call at 6:35 p.m. about the SR 171 crash.

Sheriff Dale Williams said Benjamin J. Wallace, 38, of 559 Garfield Ave., Carrollton, was driving a 2004 Ford F-250 pickup south on SR 9 around a curve on a hill when he lost control of the vehicle. The truck went left of center and off the left side of the roadway, down an embankment and struck two trees.

Wallace was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sheriff deputies responded to the accident on SR 171, which occurred just east of New Harrisburg on a knoll. The accident scene was cleared and two victims transported to Aultman Hospital prior to the case being turned over to OSP.

Sgt. Bill Bower of the OSP said Jacqueline Wanner, 61, of 2401 Hillwood St., Magnolia, died as a result of injuries she sustained in the accident.

“At this point, I don’t know if she died en route to the hospital or after she arrived at the hospital,” Bower said. “We are continuing to investigate.”

Ashley Semrock, 27, of 259 Park Ave., Carrollton, was injured and transported to the hospital.

Bower said Wanner was driving a 2016 Honda Civic east on SR 171. Semrock was driving a 2010 Mazda 6 west on SR 171.

“Semrock told us she swerved to miss a deer and her vehicle went left of center,” Bower said. “When it did, the vehicle struck the Civic driven by Wanner head-on.”

There were no passengers in either vehicle.

Bower said since the scene was cleared prior to OSP arriving at the scene, an OSP reconstructionist will reconstruct the scene to determine details of the crash.

“He will use the physical evidence at the scene and download information from the vehicles to determine the speed of the vehicles prior to the crash, braking information and seat belt usage,” he said.

The deaths were the first two highway fatalities in the county in 2018.