Woman claimed after her car strikes tractor


SIDNEY — A Sidney woman was claimed in a Thursday evening crash on State Route 219 north of the Botkins village limits in Shelby County after her car struck the rear of an open cab farm tractor, deputies of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office report.

Melanie Smith, 36, was pronounced dead at the scene. Two children in her vehicle, ages 3 and 6, each were transported by Anna Rescue Squad to Wilson Memorial Hospital for evaluation.

Deputies report Smith was operating a northbound car in the 19000 block of S.R. 219 about 6 p.m. when her vehicle struck the rear of the northbound tractor operated by Leon Hemmert, 62, of Botkins. The tractor was operating with all required lights flashing, deputies said.

The car and tractor then continued northbound in the roadway after the initial impact and the car came to rest in the northbound lane and the tractor pulled off the west side of the road.

Hemmert also was transported by private vehicle to an area hospital for evaluation.

The Shelby County Coroner’s Office also responded to the scene, and the cause of the accident remains under investigation.