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Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Area woman, unborn child die in crash

By Margie Wuebker
A 20-year-old Montezuma woman and her unborn baby were killed Monday night in a two-car crash along U.S. 127 at Coldwater Creek Road.
Ashley M. Curry, 82 N. Canal St., was pronounced dead at Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater following the 6:24 p.m. crash. She was reportedly four months pregnant.
Curry was a passenger in a 2001 Ford Taurus driven by 22-year-old Bradley Brandon of the same Montezuma address. Brandon was driving southbound when he allegedly lost control and the vehicle crossed the centerline into the path of a northbound 2001 Buick LeSabre driven by Ronald J. Lange, 50, 240 North St., Osgood.
Mercer County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Gery Thobe said the point of impact was the front of the Lange car and the passenger side of the Brandon vehicle. Both heavily-damaged vehicles came to rest at the side of the road.
"We are assuming this accident was weather related because we had earlier reports of slippery roads," Thobe said. "The accident remains under investigation."
Brandon and 1-year-old Ava M. Curry, who had been buckled into a safety seat in the backseat, were transported to the Coldwater hospital. Lange and his passenger, 50-year-old Wanda Lange, also were transported.
The toddler was later transferred by CareFlight to Children's Medical Center in Dayton, where she was listed in good condition this morning. No information was available regarding the conditions of the three adults.
Four ambulances responded to the scene along with Celina Police, Celina Fire Department and Coldwater Fire Department. Units from the Mercer County Emergency Response Volunteers responded to the scene for traffic control. The highway was shut down to all non-emergency traffic until shortly after 8:30 p.m.
Funeral arrangements for Ashley Curry are pending at Cisco Funeral Home in Celina.
The deaths of Curry and her unborn baby are the third and fourth traffic fatalities in Mercer County this year.
Slippery roadways kept law enforcement officers busy throughout the evening with the sheriff's office reporting six additional accidents, including two resulting in injuries.
One of the non-injury accidents occurred shortly before 9:30 p.m. near the intersection of state Route 118 and St. Anthony Road as Deputy Chad Fortkamp was transporting a member of the Curry family from the hospital back home to Celina. A deer reportedly darted into his path and had to be put down due to injuries.
Three accidents involving minor injuries and 13 other crashes related to icy roadways were investigated in Mercer and Auglaize counties by the Ohio State Highway Patrol post in Wapakoneta.
"Most of the accidents occurred on (Interstate) 75 and (U.S.) 33, the more heavily-traveled roads," Sgt. Rick Albers said.
He added county and township roads remain "really icy and treacherous."
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