Ohio State Highway Patrol car

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP – An Illinois man was killed Saturday morning when the brush-clearing crew he was riding with was struck by another vehicle from behind, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Reno J Keith Jr., 41, of Vandalia Illinois, was transported from the scene by Western Holmes Fire District EMS to Wooster Community Hospital but later died as the result of the crash, according to a press release from the Wooster Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

On Saturday, at approximately 11:54 a.m., the Wooster Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol was notified of a serious injury crash on State Route 3 south of State Route 179 in Holmes County. Troopers responded to the scene along with Western Holmes Fire District and EMS personnel and a medic from the Loudonville Fire Department and EMS.

The on-scene investigation revealed a silver 2018 Dodge Ram 1500 pick-up was south on SR3 south of SR179. A 2019 Honda SXS700 utility terrain vehicle (UTV) with a flashing yellow light and a white 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, also with flashing lights were following a slow-moving skid steer southbound on SR3. The three slow-moving vehicles were part of a Landracorp, Inc. brush-clearing work crew based out of Brownstown  Illinois and were moving from one site to another.

The Dodge pick-up struck the UTV from behind and pushed it into the Chevrolet Silverado. The Dodge came to rest, disabled, in the northbound lane of SR3 beside the other vehicles that came to rest in the southbound lane.

The driver of the UTV, Reno J Keith Jr., 41, Vandalia, Illinois was transported The seat belts for the UTV were buckled behind Keith when the crash happened.

The driver of the Dodge, Shane E. P. Ryder, 30, Loudonville, was using a seat belt and was unhurt in the crash. The driver of the Chevrolet, Cody A. Brooks, 24, Saint Elmo, Illinois and his passenger, Austin W. O. Weishedel, 22, Vandalia, Illinois, were also both seat-belted and uninjured in the crash.

The Dodge Ram and the Honda UTV were removed from the scene by Star American Towing from Wilmont. In addition to personnel from Western Holmes and Loudonville EMS, the Ohio Department of Transportation assisted at the scene. The road was closed for approximately two hours for the investigation.

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