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Thursday, February 8th, 2007

Area woman dies in traffic accident blamed on snow-covered roadways

By Shelley Grieshop
Snowy road conditions are being blamed for an accident Tuesday afternoon on state Route 29 in Shelby County that claimed the life of a New Bremen woman.
Cecilia Ann Hardee, 53, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Shelby County Coroner, after her car was struck nearly head-on by a semitrailer, east of the village of New Bremen at 5:45 p.m.
According to the report from the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, Hardee was driving a 1998 Honda Civic south on state Route 29 when she lost control and traveled left of center. A northbound Peterbilt semitrailer driven by Brandon Uncapher, 24, of Mendon, struck the car. Uncapher did not claim injury.
Deputies believe the car slid out of control on the snow-covered road. The report also noted that snowfall at the time of the crash contributed to the hazardous driving conditions.
Seat belts were being used by both drivers, the report stated.
Hardee, a Milledgeville, Ga., native, was a member of the Way International in New Knoxville and currently was a receptionist within the organization. She also served in computer services and at the bookstore at the facility, according to Way spokesman Rico Magnelli.
"She enjoyed photography, watching movies and loved animals, especially her kitten," Magnelli said. "She also enjoyed being with friends, had a good sense of humor and enjoyed going to shows like the Dayton Air Show."
A 1972 Tifton High School graduate, Hardee served in the U.S. Air Force from 1975-1981. She is survived by a brother, Edward L. Hardee, and an aunt and uncle, Wendell and Juanita Hardee, of Milledgeville.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, traveling too fast was the main factor in 74 percent of snow- and ice-related crashes the last two years. A total of 105 people died and 14,811 were injured in winter driving accidents in Ohio from 2004-2006.
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