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LEAVITTSBURG, OH – Three Marine recruits were killed in Warren Township, Ohio when the vehicle they were traveling in was struck from behind forcing them into a busy intersection where they were spun around and hit several times by oncoming traffic. At least 7 vehicles were involved in the fatal crash. The accident occurred around 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31, 2010.

Wreckage of Pontiac G6 in Leavittsburg, OH in which 3 Marine recruits were killed when a semi truck plowed into them from behind them forcing them into oncoming traffic.

Leavittsburg is in the northern part of the state about 25 miles northwest of Youngstown, about 41 miles northeast of Akron, around 56 miles southeast of Cleveland and about 157 miles southeast of Toledo.

The chain-reaction collision occurred when a semi truck plowed into the rear of a red pickup truck that was following behind the Marine Corps vehicle. The impact rammed the pickup truck into the marine recruiter’s car, forcing them into the busy intersection where it was hit by several other vehicles.

The Marine recruits that were killed were all residents of Ohio. They were Zachery A. Nolen, 19 years old, from Newton Falls, Joshua A. Sherbourne, 21 years old, from Southington and Michael T. Theodore Jr., 19 years old from Warren. They were on their way to Cleveland to take their military entrance exams when the accident happened.

According to Ohio State Highway Patrol officials, Sgt. Charles Keene was driving a Marine Corps Pontiac G6 with recruit Carl McDermott III, of Masury riding as  a front seat passenger. Nolen, Theodore and Sherbourne were all sitting in the back seat.

The crash began when Keene starting driving through the intersection of Market and Burnett Streets (State Route 5 at Burnett), when a tractor trailer driven by Donald Williams, from Youngstown, Ohio crashed into them from behind.

Location of fatal semi truck accident that killed 3 U.S. Marine recruits at the intersection of Burnett and West Market Streets in Warren Township, OH.

Several other people who were in the vehicles that were involved in the crash were taken to local area hospitals, but there were no other serious injuries according to police.

Lt. Joe Dragovich, head of the Warren Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said that Williams, the driver of the big rig, did give a statement to police on Wednesday after the accident, but when a trooper went to speak to him Thursday, he declined to be interviewed. He asked if Williams may have been texting or talking on a cell phone before the accident, or if anything else was happening.

Dragovich said everything is being looked at except mechanical failure because a trooper inspected the 18 wheeler and determined that there was nothing wrong with it, so mechanical failure was ruled out.

Dragovich said that investigators always check to see if there are any mechanical issues that could have contributed to the crash whenever a commercial vehicle is involved in an accident.

Below is a Google Street View of the intersection of Market and Burnett Streets (State Routes 5 and 82 at Burnett Street). You can click the mouse button and drag it around to get a 360° view of the scene of the accident.

View Larger Map

Fire and police from Warren Township, Champion, Braceville and Newton Falls responded to the accident. Two medical helicopters were also called to the scene.

State Route 5 was closed until 8:30 p.m. after the accident.

For more information about Ohio trucking laws, truck injury causes and victims rights, contact a nationwide truck accident attorney at Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP for expert advice. For a free initial consultation, talk to an Ohio truck accident lawyer at 800.773.6770.

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