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Ohio Mayor Dies in Car Accident Sunday

Ohio lost Mayor Jane L. Watts to a car accident this past Sunday night. Mayor Watts was killed when an SUV crashed into the minivan she was driving. Ohio State Patrol reports indicate the car accident occurred at 9:13 p.m. on state Route 231 at Baer Road in Grand Prairie Township.

According to investigators, the 16 year old driver of the SUV ran a stop sign, striking Watts' van. Watts was elected Mayor of Morral, Ohio in 2007, also serving as dog warden for Marion County before resigning last year. The former teacher had also previously been vice-president of the Ridgedale Local Schools Board of Education.

The 68 year old Mayor was rushed to Marion General Hospital, later dying from injuries suffered in the car crash. A 1 year old passenger in Watts' vehicle survived the crash and was also brought to Marion General for emergency medical attention. The child was later flown to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus for more extensive treatment.

Three passengers from the SUV were hospitalized and one was flown to Grant Medical Center in Columbus for treatment. All parties in that vehicle were minors.

It is unknown whether those deceased were wearing seat belts, but it appears as though Watts' passenger had been properly secured in a safety seat at the time of the crash, likely saving the child's life. It is confirmed two of the three surviving passengers in the SUV had been wearing seatbelts. The car accident is still under investigation.

Source:10TV News "Minivan, SUV Collide, Killing Morral Mayor, Injuring 4" 7/26/10

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