FREDERICKTOWN — Seven people were injured in a two-vehicle accident Friday afternoon just before 5 p.m. An SUV driven by Scott Lawrence, 34, of Columbus, was traveling west on Ohio 95 east of Fredericktown, when it struck a Ford Focus traveling east on Ohio 95, driven by Tim Gehring of Loudonville.
The Toyota RAV 4 driven by Lawrence was carrying six people. Lawrence had attempted a left-hand turn south onto Old Mansfield Road. Both vehicles sustained right front end damage when they collided. The SUV then rolled over, coming to rest on its wheels on Old Mansfield Road.
Lawrence, an adult female passenger, and four children sustained non life-threatening injuries in the crash; all were transported by Fredericktown EMS to Knox Community Hospital. The Jefferson Township squad from Bellville transported Gehring, who also sustained minor injuries, to KCH as well.
Four squads, from Fredericktown, Jefferson and Worthington townships, responded. The Fredericktown Community Fire District and Jefferson Township Fire Department also responded.
Fredericktown Police Lt. Jay Sheffer assisted the Ohio State Highway Patrol at the scene with traffic control. Sheffer said one lane of Ohio 95 was shut down temporarily while EMS was on the scene.
OSHP Trooper M.P. Boyce said Lawrence would be cited with failure to yield while turning left.
Neighbors who live near the intersection where the crash occurred say that stretch of Ohio 95 has been scrutinized for safety reasons by some community and government officials in recent years, but has not met the criteria for the major improvements.
“I’ve lived here for 20 years and seen lots of accidents,” said Jim Singrey, who lives on Ohio 95 near the accident scene. “ODOT says this is not a high accident area, but I disagree.”
“It’s not the first time I’ve seen this here,” said Adrian Vernon, who also lives near the intersection. “It’s a really bad spot with lots of accidents. I’ve lived here 10 years and seen a lot of them.”
“It’s all money, it’s all politics,” Singrey said shaking his head.
He said he believes improving the visibility at the intersection would improve safety, and he and other neighbors would like to see improvements on their road similar to the ones on Ohio 13 at Cassell’s Crossing completed last year. Those improvements have significantly cut down accidents on that stretch of roadway.