New Vienna man dies in Thursday morning crash


A New Vienna man was killed in a two-vehicle crash Thursday morning on SR 73 just west of the village.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, William J. Thatcher, 43, was driving a 2016 Chrysler 200 eastbound on SR 73 at about 5:46 a.m.

Preliminary investigation by the OSHP shows that Thatcher’s vehicle went left of center and struck a commercial tractor-trailer head-on, resulting in Thatcher’s death.

The tractor-trailer, a 2015 Volvo D-13, was driven by Robbie A. Eldridge, 27, of Martha, Kentucky. Eldridge and his passenger were not injured.

Alcohol and drugs are not suspected, according to the OSHP; the crash remains under investigation.

The accident marks five area fatalities in the space of one month.

The first, which occurred June 28 just east of Greenfield on SR 28 claimed the life of Jeffery Calhoun, 56, Greenfield, after a wheel came off a homemade trailer and crashed through the windshield of a vehicle in which Calhoun was a passenger. Calhoun was pronounced dead at Adena Greenfield Medical Center.

An accident involving a deer and a motorcycle July 2 resulted in the death of Heidi Stevens, 48, Hillsboro, after her motorcycle struck a deer that entered the roadway. Stevens was transported by medical helicopter to Kettering Medical Center in Dayton, where she was pronounced deceased.

On July 3, Morgan Bloom, 17, Wilmington, was driving a black 2007 Chevrolet Malibu southwest on SR 28 when the vehicle drove off the right side of the road and struck a mailbox, then overcorrected, drove off the left side of the road and struck a ditch and utilty pole before overturning. Bloom was pronounced dead at the scene. A preliminary investigation indicated Bloom was not wearing a seatbelt.

Another wreck on July 16 claimed the life of Eric Stone, 41, after his 1994 Ford Mustang drove left of center and struck a red 2006 Ford Super Duty pickup truck head-on. Stone was transported to Adena Greenfield Medial Center, where he was later pronounced dead. The accident occurred on SR 753 south of Snake Road.

According to the OSHP, drugs and/or alcohol were suspected to have been factors in that wreck.

The state patrol urges drivers to use caution, abide by traffic laws and always wear seatbelts.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.

This 2016 Chrysler 200 struck a semi truck head-on early Thursday morning in New Vienna, resulting in the death of William Thatcher. 2016 Chrysler 200 struck a semi truck head-on early Thursday morning in New Vienna, resulting in the death of William Thatcher. David Wright | The Times-Gazette
Accident marks five fatalities in one month

The Times-Gazette

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