Darke County records 12 fatalities in 2015


DARKE COUNTY — Twelve deaths, stemming from traffic fatalities, were recorded in 2015 on Darke County roadways. In the eight accidents, one was a triple fatality and two were double fatalities, up from seven in 2014.

Those succumbing to their injuries ranged in age from 9 to 87.

Those who died as a result of the triple fatality Oct. 3 in the 4000 block of Arcanum-Bears-Mill Road, were Darlene J. Cook of Pitsburg, age 76, who died at the scene; and Ronald L. Marlatt, 65, and David Peck, 50, both of Greenville. This was a two-car crash that happened around 4:13 p.m. Marlatt died Oct. 5 as a result of injuries and Peck died Oct. 17.

The first double fatality of the year occurred at 9:37 p.m. Feb. 18 and was dispatched as a one-vehicle rollover accident in the 2400 block of State Route 571 west of Kniseley Road. The driver of the vehicle, Richard L. Stephenson, 49, of Union City, Ohio. At the same accident, multiple people passed by and stopped to help Stephenson when a Jeep approached the accident scene and the driver not being able to get stopped in time and struck Stephenson and a bystander, Linda Shafer, 47, of Greenville, both of whom were pronounced dead at the scene.

Siblings Hunter and Katlynn Nestor, 17 and 13, respectively, of Bradford, died as a result of an accident at Gettysburg-Pitsburg and Neff roads. The car, according to sheriff’s reports, drove under a tractor-trailer rig at 7:47 p.m. in the double fatality occurring Dec. 21.

Kimberly S. Acuff, 47, of Knoxville, Tennessee, was pronounced dead at the scene of a car-semi truck and trailer head-on collision in the 14300 block of U.S. 127. According to reports, she was driving the Pontiac Vibe which traveled left of center.

A bicyclist, 9-year-0ld Leyden Guenther, was struck by a car at 4:37 p.m. June 10, and was airlifted to Children’s Hospital, where he succumbed those injuries on June 12.

Samuel J. Barga, 19, of Greenville, was killed at 9:54 p.m. Aug. 3 in the 2000 block of Mills Road after he was ejected from a truck during a rollover accident.

Larry J. Dowler, 76, of Arcanum, was pronounced dead at the scene of a three-vehicle accident occurring in the 3500 block of State Route 121 at 8:45 a.m. Sept. 16. Sheriff’s reports state that a Chevrolet Trailblazer was northbound, drove left of center and struck head-on Dowler’s vehicle, which was also struck by the Dodge Nitro that was following Dowler’s vehicle.

An accident on Dec. 7 claimed the life of John J. Kitten, 87, of Greenville. The accident occurred at U.S. 127 and Kruckeberg Road at approximately 3:08 p.m. Reports state the vehicle Kitten was driving pulled from the stop sign into the path of a truck.

By Linda Moody

[email protected]

Linda Moody 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.

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