Created on Wednesday, 21 November 2012 Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
LEBANON (AP) — A pickup truck ran off the road Wednesday in southwest Ohio, ejecting and killing all four people inside as it rolled over and landed in the front yard of a house, strewing clothes and other articles along its path.
The crash occurred just before 5 a.m. on a road north of Interstate 71 near Lebanon, according to the Lebanon post of the State Highway Patrol. All occupants of the truck died at the scene, where debris from the vehicle included beer cans and a floor mat hanging from a tree branch. The truck landed about 100 feet from the road, the Middletown Journal reported.
Timothy Back, who owns the property where the truck landed, told the newspaper that "tools, clothing articles, shoes — everything is in the yard." The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Back's wife, Ashley Back, said the crash sounded like thunder.
The debris at the scene "further solidifies it was a very violent crash," patrol Lt. Matt Hamilton told the Middletown Journal.
The road was blocked for about seven hours while emergency crews worked at the crash site.
Patrol spokeswoman Lt. Anne Ralston said excessive speed and alcohol are suspected as contributing to the crash.
The patrol said the truck was heading north on a road in Warren County when the driver apparently lost control before a curve and the truck went off the left side of the road.
The victims were identified by the patrol as Jonathan Kroninger, 21, of Waynesville; Benjamin Edwards, 26, of Lebanon; Brittany Gerondale, 26, of Morrow; and Rose Feltner, 22 of New Vienna.
Hamilton said the four apparently were playing cards at a house about a mile away from the crash site shortly before the accident, area media outlets reported.
Hamilton did not immediately return calls left at the patrol post, and a dispatcher said no other investigators were available to comment Wednesday.
The driver was not immediately identified due to the nature of the crash, which remained under investigation, Ralston said. The patrol was still trying to determine where the truck's occupants were sitting in the vehicle.
None of the four apparently was wearing seat belts, according to the patrol.
Wednesday marked the start of the Thanksgiving holiday traffic fatality count. Ralston said there were 17 traffic fatalities on Ohio roads during last year's Thanksgiving holiday travel period.