Geneva E Vogler Susan L Kremin Local golf teams complete play at state tournament Lady Dragons make school history with tournament win Browning gets hands-on look at NASA’s latest robotics Local beautician celebrates 80th birthday Health Department appeals to November voters Betty R Toller Senior Profile: Craig Horton Helen F Hoffer Super Saturday at Freedom Field Lady Dragons hang on for five-set victory over Manchester Seventh Grade Lady Hounds are SHAC Tournament champions Peebles Elementary announces September Students of the Month Rideout’s Muffler celebrating 40th anniversary this month Senior Citizens levy will appear on November ballot Bonnie J Orr Dorothy M Edenfield Senior Profile: Grace Barge Jerry Paquette Dragons get big 38-20 win at Green Manchester takes varsity team titles at West Union Invitational Lady Devils knock off Peebles on Volley For the Cure Night Manhunt ends with arrest of alleged bank robber Senior Profile: Kelsey Friend Lady Dragons finish as District Runners-Up Sectional pairings announced for volleyball and soccer 2 and 3 and worried is me Patricia Clift Adams County Humane Agent saves abandoned dogs and puppies Tourism had major economic impact on Adams County in 2015 Senator Portman brings his campaign to Adams County Betty E Lawson Sanborn NAHS holds National Honor Society induction ceremonies Harlan W Benjamin Joyce A Lafferty Senior Profile: Lee Hesler Dragons get SHAC win, 2-1 over Fairfield North Adams tops Peebles in ‘Kickin Cancer’ battles Double duty coming at Boys’ State Golf Tournament as West Union and North Adams both qualify Humane Society providing ‘Straws For Paws’ North Adams Elementary honors students and staff Russell Rockwell Julie L Wagner Hobert C Robinson Samuel D McClellan Brenda S Bare Clarencce Walker Jr Dolly M Hilterbrandt Jack Roush Day returns to Manchester West Union FFA has busy opening to school year ODOT opens new full-service Maintenance Facility Peebles Elementary introduces Peer Mentoring program Frost is recipient of Morgan Memorial Scholarship Peebles Fire Department has a new addition Heritage Days return to Tranquility Wheat Ridge Olde Thyme Herb Fair and Harvest Festival begins Friday Caraway Farm hosts annual Pumpkin Festival ‘Run Gio’ makes a visit to Adams County Senior Profile: Mackenzie Smith West Union, North Adams grab top two spots in Division III golf sectional tournament This memory will live with me forever Will M Stern West Union and North Adams-State Bound! Lillian N Smith Betty R Shelton Barbara ER Bohl Brenda Farley Senior Profile: Caitlyn Bradford Dragons roar to 40-0 Homecoming victory Greyhounds take three of four races at annual Adams County Meet Monarch Meadows holds grand opening Discovering a touch of glass on Erie’s Shores Junior L Conaway William B Brumley Sr Fred G Davis Ohio Valley FFA Officers for 2016-17 named ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley West Union holds football Homecoming festivities First graders pick the Sheriff Cross honored by ODNR with the prestigious Cardinal Award Renowned Ohio artist visits WUHS Don and Venita Bowles named 2016 Outstanding Fair Supporters PES students part of new Lego League Ferno donates $2,500 to OVCTC From the cistern to the city water Basketball officiating class being offered in October Peebles rolls by West Union in straight sets Par for the course, Dragons sweep SHAC Golf titles Greyhounds hang on late for first win of 2016 season You have to understand the process to understand the job Alex K Miller Ann E Campbell Scott N Atkinson Senior Profile: Tyler Fowler Martin named to All-Tourney Team in North/South Battlefield Classic 200 years on the banks of the Ohio, in a little town called Moscow Edwin P Prince ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley Volleyball teams honor young cancer patient

Teens injured in accident

In her 14 years of service with the Adams County Emergency Medical Service, EMT Tina Knechtly has been witness to every parent’s nightmare – the loss of a child: The loss of hopes and dreams, the potential that will never be realized, the future forever changed in the mangled wreckage of automobiles.

When she sent her 17-year-old twins, Sara and Justin, off to school on Friday, Jan. 15, she’d given Sara the usual speech about “getting up earlier so you won’t always be running late.”

“She just rolled her eyes at me,” Tina remembered, a typical teenager.”

No more than five minutes after her children had hurriedly left the house, her phone rang.

“It was Justin, I could tell from the sound of his voice that something was very wrong.”

There had been an accident. The two teens had been speeding southbound on Route 136 in Sara’s red 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier. It was the same road they traveled every day to the Career and Technical Center in West Union. It was familiar, and Sara didn’t want to be late for school.

According to Ohio State Highway Patrolman, Donnie Edgington, “Sara was traveling at an excessive speed when she lost control in a left hand curve and traveled off the right side of the road, overturned and struck a tree.”

“Because I didn’t want to be a few minutes late to school,” Sara wrote on her Facebook page, “I took a curve too fast and lost control. The rest I don’t remember, but they tell me we went into woods, rolled, and some trees stopped us. If the trees hadn’t been there, a ledge was waiting for us.”

When first responders arrived at the scene, the teens’ mother was among them. “I didn’t know how bad the wreck was, I didn’t know what to expect, so I came as an EMT, then I saw the car, and whenever I’ve come upon a car in that condition, I know it can’t be good,” she told the Defender.

The West Union Life Squad transported both Sara and Justin to the Adams County Regional Medical Center.

Their injuries were not life-threatening, but for Sara, they were life-changing.

On her Facebook page the following day, reflecting upon the choices she’d made and the consequences of her actions, she wrote,

“Because I didn’t want to be a few minutes late for school my brother and I almost lost our lives. My parents came real close to spending the rest of their lives without their children. Because I didn’t want to be a few minutes late for school I could’ve killed my brother and would’ve been charged with murder. That’s hard and all, but jail is only for a few years, knowing that you killed your own flesh and blood over something so petty lasts a life time. Guys, Be a few minutes late!

I promise you it is not worth a car crash. If you have someone riding with you – you have a life in your car. Don’t take that life because you need to hurry. God was with us that day. Not only did he let us walk away but he let us walk away with only minor injuries. Bub (Justin) has a few scratches and bruises and I have a concussion and four staples in my head. The officers tell us we should not have walked away with our lives. Even though I don’t remember more than half of what happened, I have learned a very valuable lesson. Don’t give me a pity party because I don’t deserve one. If anything I need a slap in the head from all of you, LOL. Thank you to everyone who prayed for us and please take what I have written to heart because if it happens to you, you may not be so lucky.”

Two local teens escaped serious injury during a single-car accident on State Route 136 on Jan. 15. local teens escaped serious injury during a single-car accident on State Route 136 on Jan. 15. Submitted photo
Accident proves to be a life-changing experience

By Patricia Beech

Reach Patricia Beech at 937-544-2391 or at

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