Sidney man dies in Mercer County crash


CELINA — A Sidney man was killed in a two-vehicle crash Thursday morning in Mercer County.

Atsushi Tanaka, 36, of Sidney, Ohio, died at the scene of the crash after his vehicle went into a pond at the intersection of state Route 29 and Harris Road.

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey reported his received a 911 call at 6:49 a.m. Thursday morning. The caller reported an injury accident involving a car and semi and that one of the vehicles was in a pond.

The investigation found that 65-year-old Adil Sabanagic, of Utica, New York, was driving his 2016 Volvo semi westbound on state Route 29 near Harris Road. Tanaka was driving a 2021 Honda and was also westbound on state Route 29.

Sabanagic was slowing or stopped in traffic to turn south on Harris Road. It appears Sabanagic may have missed his turn and began backing up to make the turn, when the trailer blocked part of the roadway. Tanaka struck the back of the trailer. Tanaka went off of the north side of the roadway, down the ditch, through a fence and came to rest submerged in a pond.

The Celina Fire Department dive team was called to assist in rescue efforts for Tanaka. Tanaka was pronounced deceased at the scene. Grey reports there is a witness to the crash as well as video of the crash that deputies are reviewing. At this time the crash remains under investigation.

Deputies were assisted at the scene by members of the Celina Fire Department, Celina EMS, St. Marys EMS, Ohio State Patrol and the Mercer County EMA. Mercer County Coroner, Dr. Timothy Heinrichs was also notified of the crash and released the body to a local funeral home.

Grey advised that his deputies have been in contact with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and will be sending a copy of the report to their office once it is completed for review.