DARKE COUNTY — Darke County recorded seven vehicle fatalities in 2016, with victims ranging in age from 16 to 82.
The number marks a decrease from 2015, when 12 people died on Darke County roadways.
The first road fatality of 2016 took place Jan. 21, with Ralph G. Hartle, age 82, of Greenville in the 5700 block of Oliver Road at approximately 6:23 p.m. He was airlifted after he was ejected from a Gator ATV he was operating that was struck by a vehicle. He died Feb. 1 at Miami Valley Hospital.
Linda S. Stebbins, 61, Greenville, lost her life in a chain reaction, three-car, head-on crash at 5:03 p.m. June 28. Her car had been struck by a pickup truck in the 4100 block of State Route 571. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Motorcyclist David L. Milligan, 45, Greenville, died at 7:22 a.m. when his cycle and a semi tractor-trailer rig collided at the intersection of State Route 121 and U.S. 127.
Sixteen-year-old Elias Burr, Greenville, succumbed to his injuries in a two-vehicle accident that occurred at approximately 5:13 p.m. Aug. 2 at U.S. 127 and Kruckeberg Road. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The fifth fatality of the year happened Sept. 12 at approximately 8:01 p.m. in the 7100 block of North Star-Fort Loramie Road. Losing his life in the two-vehicle crash was 65-year-old Steven L. Knapke of Yorkshire.
John C. Shingler, 58, of New Carlisle, died after the motorcycle he was operating crashed at 7:55 p.m. Oct. 15 in the 8500 block of Horatio-Harris Creek Road, near Bradford.
The last fatality of the year claimed the life of Robert E. Rhoades, 71, of Piqua and formerly of Greenville. He was a passenger in a car which crashed at approximately 3:37 p.m. Nov. 19 in the 9100 block of U.S. 36, near Bradford. He succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
Originally the fatality that occurred in a one-car accident on the morning of Dec. 16 was said to have been a traffic fatality; however, the Darke County coroner determined the victim was deceased prior to the accident. It occurred at U.S. 36 and Stahl Road. Joyce Hinkle, 64, of Gettysburg, was pronounced dead at the scene of that accident.
This writer may be reached at 937-569-4315. Follow her on Facebook and join the conversation and get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.