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Motor vehicle accidents: 5 dead in Ohio

Five people tragically lost their lives after a wrong-way crash on State Route 7. The Ohio State Highway Patrol has confirmed that two vehicles were involved in the accident, which may have also involved alcohol. Motor vehicle accidents causing fatalities are always carefully investigated, but especially so when criminal activity may have contributed to the tragedy. 

According to the limited information in the report, the crash included an SUV carrying four individuals and a sedan carrying two people. Witnesses say the sedan was traveling south in the northbound lanes just prior to the crash, which happened at approximately 11:15 p.m. on the night of Nov. 23. It is unclear whether the crash was head-on, but it seems likely considering the facts of the case. 

The 22-year-old male driver of the car and his 25-year old female passenger, both from out of state, were killed in the collision. The 42-year-old driver of the SUV and two passengers, aged 21 and 30, were also reported dead at the scene. The remaining passenger in the SUV was rushed to a local hospital, but that individual's injuries are not considered life-threatening at this time. 

Even if Ohio police determine the deceased driver of the car was under the influence of alcohol, contributing to the accident, no criminal charges will be filed posthumously. However, state law allows the victims of motor vehicle accidents, or the families of deceased victims, to file wrongful death and/or personal injury lawsuits, as applicable, against either a driver deemed responsible, or that driver's estate in the case he or she was also killed in the crash. Proof of alcohol use could be used to strengthen such a lawsuit in civil court. 

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