HARLAN TWP, Ohio - One person was killed and three others were injured after a deadly crash in Warren County Sunday morning.
Just before 9 a.m., Rebecca Fessler, 42, of Blanchester, was turning into the parking lot of Blanchester Church of the Nazarene in the 10000 block of State Route 28 when her Ford Taurus was hit from behind by a church bus, according to police.
Bus driver Barb Prater, 45, also of Blanchester, was turning into the parking lot as well when investigators say 74-year-old Ronald Eller, of Blanchester, failed to stop, hitting the bus.
"Apparently he either didn't see the vehicle slowing down and failed to react," said Sergeant Corey Wright, Ohio State Patrol. "He struck the school bus on the right rear corner panel forcing the school bus into the Ford Taurus."
Eller's red Dodge pickup-truck plowed into the church bus, which ran into Fessler's Taurus. Eller was pronounced dead at the scene.
A medical helicopter was initially called to the scene. A doctor on board declared Eller dead at the scene.
As a result of the crash, the church canceled its 9 a.m. service and the children's program.
Associate pastor Steve Cremeans tells 9 News the bus driver was on her way back from her routine route but none of the church regulars needed a ride.
"It's very ironic because we will usually have five to 10 people on that bus on any given Sunday just none this morning," said Cremeans. "Could we say possibly providential? Who knows?"
The church did decide to hold its 11 a.m. service where prayers were said for everyone impacted by the crash.
"I was just talking to the son and the gentleman that is deceased was on his way over to cut his grass this morning," said Cremeans. "Just a very very difficult morning for us as a church."
Fessler, her 8-year-old daughter who was also in the car, and Prater were all taken by ambulance to Bethesda Arrow Springs Hospital. Their conditions are non-life threatening, according to Wright.
The crash is still under investigation.
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