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2 dead in 6-vehicle crash

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Charges are pending against a tractor-trailer driver from Chicago accused of starting a deadly chain-reaction crash west of Columbus yesterday.

Tony Smith was heading eastbound on I-70 just after 9:00 a.m. when he failed to slow down for traffic that had been backed up by an earlier accident.

The rig smashed into two cars and another semi just east of Alton and Darby Creek Road, killing the drivers of the two cars and injuring two others, including Smith, Sheriff Zach Scott said.

The freeway was shut down for hours during the cleanup and investigation.

Investigators say Smith did not notice that traffic had backed up because of an accident at I-70 and Wilson Road, about four miles east of the accident scene, and collided with a Pontiac Vibe, a Toyota Camry and another semi, which in turn struck a Nissan Cube, Scott said.

Diana Schwab, 71, of Beavercreek, who was driving the Toyota, and Robin Jones, 48, of London, driver of the Pontiac, were both pronounced dead at the scene, Scott said.

J. Tara Wimble, of London, driver of the Cube, and Smith were transported to Mt. Carmel West Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Scott said.

Scott says the driver of the second semi and a sixth vehicle were not hurt.

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