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Henry County, Indiana — July 21, 2013

Police believe an Ohio man was passing illegally on Sunday when he crashed in the Blountsville area, killing two people.

According to deputies with the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, 48-year-old Lynn resident Claude E. Hicks Jr. was behind the wheel of a blue, four-door 2004 Kia Spectra as it traveled south along U.S. Route 35. As the vehicle approached County Road 675 East, around 11:10 a.m., Mr. Hicks observed a northbound 2005 Chevrolet Equinox sport-utility vehicle veer into oncoming traffic.

Investigators say Mr. Hicks was unable to avoid a collision with the wrong-way SUV, driven by 59-year-old Kettering, Ohio resident John Petry. Paramedics responded to the scene, but were unable to save Mr. Hicks and his passenger, 52-year-old Lynn resident Rhonda Jo Hicks.

A passenger in the SUV, 57-year-old Cheryl Petry was taken to Henry County Hospital for treatment and was later transferred to Indianapolis’s St. Vincent Hospital. A second passenger, Joseph Hicks, was taken to Indiana University Ball Memorial Hospital, then transferred to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital.

Two child passengers, a male, 3 and a female, 9, were taken to Riley Hospital for Children. Authorities have indicated that Mr. Petry passed five other vehicles in a no-passing zone and that wet road conditions were also a contributing factor.

According to Keep Kids Alive Drive 25, speeders are three times more likely to crash and account for 33 percent of all motor vehicle deaths.

If you would like an official copy of the police report, request a copy with this form.

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