Newton Falls couple dies after crash, surviving son shares story - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Newton Falls couple dies after crash, surviving son shares story

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JACKSON TWP., Ohio - A two-car crash over the weekend on Interstate 76 claimed the lives of a Newton Falls couple and injured their son and daughter-in-law.

After picking up his parents in Newton Falls Saturday afternoon, Ravenna resident Ken Stoner began to travel eastbound toward Pittsburgh to go to a graduation party.

Just before reaching the Meander Reservoir, he slowed and stopped his Camry to wait for traffic congestion due construction.

Seconds after he came to a stop, that's when Stoner describes the moment that changed his life as he knew it.

"Right then in my mind, it registered; 'we're in an accident'," Stoner says.

The Canfield Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol reports Lynn Berger, 35, of Cranberry Township, Pa., slammed into the back of the car carrying the Stoner family.

According to Sergeant Bret Henderson, Berger told highway patrol officials that she was putting down her drink and took her eyes off the road before the crash.

Ken Stoner and his wife are at home recovering from non-life threatening injuries. Both back seat passengers, Dolores Stoner, 83, and Kenneth Stoner, 87, died over the weekend following the crash.

Family describes them as well-known people in and around the Newton Falls community who had a number of friendships.

The married couple of 62 years spent most of their time together and had deep roots in the valley. Dolores worked as the Newton Falls city finance director for 20 years and Kenneth was retired from Republic Steel in Warren.

So far no formal charges have been filed against Berger in the incident, but Sgt. Henderson says charges are "likely" after the crash report is sent to the Mahoning County prosecutor's office.

With summer construction season already underway, Henderson says it's imperative that motorists stay focused near orange barrels.

"When you're driving a car, that's your most important function," Henderson says. "The coffee, the radio, the phones, all that's secondary, you need to put those things aside and you need to drive."

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