Fatal Accident On Old Route 33

By
Athens Messenger staff reports
Gabe Ross
Susan Tebben - Athens Messenger staff reporter

Dateline
Updated Thu, Jan 16, 2014 4:20 pm

UPDATE 4:18 p.m. A Guysville man was killed and two Shade residents were hospitalized after a two-vehicle crash on Old Route 33/Pomeroy Road Thursday morning.

Emergency responders were called to a crash on the road near the former Rainbow Inn at about 10:20 a.m. Dispatchers said passengers were reportedly trapped and one person may have already died.

Kurt R. Raschke, 69, of Guysville, was killed in the crash and pronounced dead on the scene. He was driving a 1997 Buick LeSabre westbound on Route 33, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Raschke was not wearing a seat belt.

Ronald P. Hedrick, 53, of Shade, was driving a 1997 Ford Explorer eastbound on Route 33 when he allegedly lost control of the vehicle in a curve, according to Lt. George Harlow, commander of the Athens Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Hedrick then overcorrected and slid left of center, striking the vehicle Raschke was driving, Harlow said.

"It was basically a head-on collision," Harlow said.

No alcohol or drugs are suspected as factors in the collision, but the case has been referred to the Athens County Prosecutor's Office. Charges are being considered, according to Harlow.

Raschke's body has been taken to the Montgomery County Coroner's Office for an autopsy.

Both Ronald Hedrick and passenger Wendy Hedrick, 39, also of Shade, were injured, but Ronald Hedrick sustained "non-incapacitating" injuries, Harlow said, and Wendy Hedrick sustained minor injuries. They were transported to O'Bleness Memorial Hospital by ambulance.

Athens County Coroner Harold Thompson was called to the scene and confirmed the death of Raschke.

The crash occurred on a sharp-winding section of the road, near the intersection of Laughlin Hill Road. The SUV appeared to have been transporting a vertical wood splitter, and the vehicle ended up lying on its side across the road. The wood splitter separated from the vehicle and was lying in the middle of the road as well.

The Buick was upright in the embankment on the side of the road.

Three wrecker services came to the scene to assist with clean up, and the road was closed until about 3:30 p.m. Traffic was diverted back toward Richland Avenue and also up Laughlin Hill Road.

Trucks and firefighters from the Richland Area Volunteer Fire Department assisted on scene along with deputies from the Athens County Sheriff's Office.


Update:

The Richland Area Volunteer Fire Department is on the scene of a fatal motor vehicle collision near 4929 Old Route 33 Road, County Road 33A, South of Athens. 

Due to the severity of the collision the roadway will be closed until further notice. 

The roadway is closed between Laughlin Hill Road, County Road 86 and Angel Ridge Road, County Road 98.

Emergency crews will reopen the roadway once the area is safe for travelers. 

Emergency responders are asking motorists to avoid the area.


The Athens Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a two-vehicle crash that occurred on Old Route 33 in Athens on Thursday morning.

The accident resulted in one fatality and two others being injured.

The injured parties have been transported to O'Bleness Memorial Hospital for treatment.

The names of those involved in the accident have not yet been released.

Old Route 33 is closed in both directions between Laughlin Hill road and Angel Ridge Road.

As of 11:45 a.m. Athens County officials said emergency crews will reopen the roadway once the area is safe for travelers.

Motorists are advised to avoid the area.

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