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Harrison County accident claims three lives

MONROE TOWNSHIP — A woman and her two young passengers were killed in a head-on collision this past weekend in Harrison County near the Tuscarawas County line.

The fatal accident occurred around 11:30 a.m. Saturday along U.S. 250 in Monroe Township approximately 0.3 mile away from the Tuscarawas County line.

Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremy Grubb said 52-year-old Victoria Risley, who was driving a 2007 Toyota Rav-4 in the westbound lane, went left of center and collided with 55-year-old Henry McNutt Jr., who was driving a 2019 Peterbilt truck.

“She (Risley) went across the yellow line and even into the grass on the left side of the road. As she was doing that, he (McNutt) went left of center to avoid her, but as soon as she touched the grass on the left side of the road she corrected herself back to her side of the road, where they met in the westbound lane in a head-on collision,” Grubb said.

Risley was killed in the crash, along with her two young passengers ages 4 and 6. Grubb said all three individuals were pronounced dead at the scene. The relationship among the three victims has not yet been released.

McNutt, the commercial truck driver, was uninjured in the accident.

Grubb said there is dashcam footage from the commercial vehicle that supports witness accounts of the incident.

“We’ve watched the video, there’s a camera located at the front of the vehicle and another camera looking at the driver of the commercial vehicle. That video corroborates what the witnesses stated,” he said.

There were two witnesses to the accident, one who was following Risley on the roadway and another who was following McNutt, Grubb said.

“Both witnesses stated there was nothing the commercial driver could have done. The video also corroborates that,” he said.

Grub said distracted driving may have been a contributing factor to the incident.

“We recovered a cell phone from the Toyota and we’re looking to see if there was a distraction inside of the Toyota at the time of the accident,” he said.

The fatal accident remains under investigation by the patrol.

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