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Fatal crash shuts down state Route 39

| November 2, 2023

SUGARCREEK (WJER) (Nov. 2, 2023) – The New Philadelphia Highway Patrol Post is investigating a fatal crash on state Route 39.

It happened around 11:30 Thursday morning when an eastbound van being driven by 62-year-old William Rienerth Jr of Brunswick was struck from behind by a Kimble refuse and recycling truck at the Shetler Road intersection while slowing down to make a left-hand turn.

Troopers say Rienerth, who wasn’t buckled up, was ejected from the van and died at the scene. The 28-year-old New Philadelphia man driving the truck wasn’t injured.

Alcohol and drug use aren’t believed to be factors in the crash that had Route 39 closed in both directions for more than four hours.

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