By Margie Wuebker
A Celina man died Monday afternoon when his SUV drifted left of center and collided head-on with a semitrailer along U.S. 127, south of Celina.
Kevin Diller, 37, 1901 state Route 29, was pronounced dead at the scene of the 12:05 p.m. accident by Mercer County Coroner Dr. Tim Heinricks.
Diller was driving a 1988 Suzuki Samurai northbound when his vehicle crossed the center line for an unknown reason and into the path of a 1998 Freightliner rig driven by Everett D. Shahan, 38, of Dover. Shahan was unable to avoid the collision, according to Mercer County Sheriff's Office reports.
Both vehicles came to rest in the east ditch about a quarter mile south of the state Route 219 intersection. Debris littered the highway and black marks graphically charted the semitrailer's path across the pavement.
Shahan was taken by ambulance to Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater, where he was treated and later released. Assisting deputies at the scene were members of the Montezuma Fire Department and the Emergency Management Agency.
Diller, the son of Urban and Helen Diller, was employed as an assistant manager at Wal-Mart in Greenville.
"Kevin was on his way home at the time," older brother Charles Diller told The Daily Standard this morning. "He made his home with Dad and Mom the last few years."
Kevin Diller grew up on a farm near St. Anthony. The parents moved to their current address following retirement.
Family members broke the tragic news to the couple Monday afternoon. Divorced and the father of a 15-year-old son, Casey, he also is survived by three older brothers Roger of St. Anthony, Charles of Carthagena, and Kenneth, who flew in late Monday from a southwestern military base where he is stationed.
In addition to helping his parents, Kevin Diller enjoyed tinkering with cars and going to the movies.
The accident remains under investigation. The death marks the ninth to occur this year on Mercer County roadways.
Funeral arrangements are pending at Hogenkamp Funeral Home in Coldwater.