BOTKINS — A Fort Loramie woman was killed when the car she was driving ran into an open cab farm tractor, Thursday evening.
According to Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart’s press release, Melanie Smith, 36, of Fort Loramie, was pronounced dead at the scene following the crash in the 19000 block of state Route 219, north of Botkins, on Thursday, Dec. 21, at 6:06 p.m.
According to the release, Smith was operating a 1997 Chevrolet Malibu, northbound on state Route 219 when she rear-ended the northbound tractor, also on state Route 219, that was driven by Leon Hemmert, 62, of Botkins. The tractor had all required lights flashing at the time of the collision. The Malibu and the tractor continued north in the roadway after the initial impact. Then the car came to a stop in the northbound lane and the tractor pulled off the west side of the roadway.
Smith’s two minor children, Whitley Smith, 3, and Layla Smith, 6, both of Covington, were transported by Anna Rescue to Wilson Health.
Hemmert was transported by a private vehicle to Wilson Health.
Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies, Botkins Fire Department and Anna Rescue responded to the scene.
Shelby County Sheriff Chief Deputy Jim Fry said witnesses told deputies that Smith’s vehicle’s lights were not on at the time of the crash.
Fry said the accident remains under investigation by the sheriff’s office, but alcohol is suspected to have been factor in the crash. Smith had three prior OVI charges, in 2002, 2008 and 2009.
The Shelby County Coroner’s Office is assisting in the investigation.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.