North Adams High School holds annual Homecoming ceremonies Six workers injured in power plant explosion Commissioners hold proclamation ceremony for 4-H Week Senior Profile: Shyanne Tucker Coach Young Classic is Saturday at NAHS Helen Kerr Anna L DeMint The garden that got us through the winter months Virginia L Fricker JV Devils top Northwest 51-34 Senior Profile: Caitlin Young North Adams moves to 7-5 with 16-point Homecoming win over Northwest Held to a higher standard Claudia J Purtee Shaylee E Prewitt Questions still linger in Stuart explosion Richard Holsinger J Ruth Madden Frank E Swayne Robert Bechdolt Sara D Hatfield Barbara Goodwin Jeffrey Frederick Grace E Myers Johnny A Sullender Sr. Senator Joe Uecker sworn-in for second term Wenstrup sworn in for third term in House Ronald L Chochard Patrick P Clift Samuel W Freeland Senior Profile: Casey Mullenix Lady Dragons win ugly, taking Classic consolation game over Manchester, 48-45 Greyhounds roll by West Union to take Classic consolation game, 82-58 History made as Ward takes oath of office Peter A Bennington Tangela R King McDonald’s Classic crowns 2016 champions MVP Arey leads Peebles to McDonald’s Classic title, Indians outlast North Adams 82-76 in double overtime thriller Lady Devils get Classic three-peat, make it 10 of 11, 14 titles for Coach Davis Senior Profile: Raegan Dick Teaching students the power of giving Kids at Children’s Home gifted with shopping spree Marion Liming Dorothy Huff John R Murphy Michael L McAninch Rita Rogers Edward L Combs Ronald W Staggs Mary H Grooms Gladys Wilson Donald Barnhill Monda Van Vorren Deborah Spires Senior Profile: Andre Wolke Indians pull away in second half, get past Manchester 71-58 in Classic semis On home floor, Lady Indians move to Classic title game North Adams handles West Union, Devils move to Classic finals with 68-53 victory Lady Devils roll into Classic championship Beth E Rowley Leatrice Lewis Senior Profile: Justin Aldridge Mary Helterbridle Wanda Huffman PES Performing Arts entertains at Hometown Christmas Adams County Manor sends holiday wishes Peebles Lions Club hosts Christmas breakfast Elusive Elf on a Shelf makes a return visit to PES Santas in blue spread Christmas cheer in a very special way Senior Profile: Aubrey McFarland WUHS holds Hall of Fame induction ceremonies WUHS Academic Team has undefeated season Serving those who served their country From Pearl Harbor to ‘America’s Got Talent’, 93-year-old WWII vet is still going strong Yester Years brings a touch of old to the new Merry Christmas to you all North Adams Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners Peebles High School hosts Homecoming ceremonies Children in need receive gifts at PES Adams County Manor holds annual Door Decorating Contest WUHS celebrates with numerous Christmas activities Halftime lead quickly vanishes, Dragons fall to Northwest 73-62 in Saturday night non-conference match up Tammy S Scott Oscar Hilterbrandt Neil R Swayne Beulah M Daniels McDonald’s Classic begins Dec. 27 Letters to Santa Senior Profile: Tyler Swearingen Leadership Adams donates to local outreach programs North Adams student/athletes are part of Holiday Sharing Event Senior Profile: Kylie Lucas West Union Elementary holds Academic Fair on Dec. 2 WUES holds annual Spelling Bee NAHS Art students help out the Humane Society Peebles Elementary announces Spelling Bee winners CTC FCCLA / Culinary Arts class holds Cancer Awareness Drive Amen receives Distinguished Service Award ‘Tis the season for family-past, present, and future MHS Computer Class aces MOS Exam

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.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/web1_Accident.jpgTwo 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

pbeech@civitasmedia.com

Reach Patricia Beech at 937-544-2391 or at pbeech@civitasmedia.com

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2016 People's Defender