One dead in I-71 crash Thursday


News Journal



WILMINGTON –One person was killed and several others injured in a two-vehicle accident on I-71 Thursday afternoon.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol Wilmington Patrol Post is still investigating the crash that occurred around 1:30 p.m. near milepost 48 in Chester Township, Clinton County.

The preliminary investigation shows that Zachary Craft, 18, of Ocean Springs, Mississippi was driving a 2005 Hyundai Elantra northbound on I-71 when he fell asleep at the wheel, according to the OSHP. He traveled off the left side of the roadway, overcorrected and sideswiped a 2006 Ford F-250 driven by Robert O’Donnell, 39, of Zanesville. Craft’s vehicle struck O’Donnell’s vehicle in the trailer, causing it to travel off the left side of the roadway and overturn, police said.

Craft and O’Donnell were transported to Clinton Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. O’Donnell was traveling with two passengers — one was a rear seat passenger in the vehicle who was transported to Miami Valley Hospital by Care flight with serious injuries. Scott Bunting was a front-seat passenger in the vehicle and sustained fatal injuries, police said. The Clinton County Coroner was on scene and pronounced him dead.

The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio Department of Transportation assisted at the scene. Chester Township Fire Department, Wilmington Fire Department, and Clinton-Warren Joint Services all responded.

There is no evidence at present to indicate drugs and alcohol are involved, according to the OSHP.

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