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I-71 wreck claims the life of Ohio man

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By Sharon Graves

Landmark News Service

An Ohio man died Wednesday, June 18, after the car he was driving crossed the median near mile marker 35 on Interstate 71 and struck a semi.

The accident, which occurred at 2 p.m., left the interstate closed to traffic for several hours during the afternoon; southbound traffic was re-routed through Carrollton and Trimble County during the closure.

Kentucky State Police reported that Wilburn R. Owen of Findlay, Ohio, was traveling northbound on I-71 when a rear tire on the car blew out, causing him to lose control of the vehicle. The car veered left, crossing the median into oncoming southbound traffic and was struck by a commercial tractor-trailer on the driver’s side. Both vehicles struck the guardrail and came to rest facing south.

Owen was pronounced dead at the scene by the Henry County Coroner Jimmy Pollard. According to reports, Owen was not wearing a seat belt.

Two passengers in the car were transported to University of Louisville Hospital for treatment of serious injuries. John W. Owen, also of Findlay, was transported by Henry County EMS and listed in fair condition. Dorothy Owen, also of Findlay, was transported by Statcare to the hospital, and also was listed in fair condition. KSP said the passengers also were not wearing seat belts.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Marvin S. Dunavent of Shelbyville, Tenn., was not injured and was wearing a seat belt, KSP said.

KSP Trooper Rick Ellis and Sgt. Jamie Heller of Post 5 in Campbellsburg are investigating the accident. In addition to the Henry County EMS and coroner, they were assisted at the scene by the Campbellsburg Fire Department, Statcare and Henry County Emergency Management.

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