Fatality on Rt. 26

MARIETTA TWP. – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating a three-vehicle crash on Ohio 26 that left a Marietta Township man dead Monday morning.

Robert J. Goddard, 55, of 50 Kelsey Lane, was pronounced dead at the scene after his 1994 Suzuki Sidekick was struck by a 2004 Ford Explorer driven by Zachary Dumas, 23, of 102 Woodcrest Lane, Marietta, according to a release from the patrol’s Marietta post. After the initial collision, the Sidekick was hit by another vehicle, a 2006 GMC Envoy driven by Donald Duvall, 47, of 10930 State Route 26, Marietta.

The accident happened around 7:38 a.m. Monday on Ohio 26, about a mile north of Goose Run Road. The patrol’s release says Goddard’s vehicle was traveling south on Ohio 26 when Dumas’ Explorer went left of center and hit it. That impact spun the Sidekick, which went off the right side of the road, where the Envoy struck it.

The Sidekick came to rest on its side, next to the Envoy. The Explorer stopped in the middle of the road.

Witnesses said Goddard had to be removed from his vehicle using the Jaws of Life apparatus.

Both Dumas and Duvall were taken to Marietta Memorial Hospital, where they were both treated and released.

All three men were using seat belts, the release said.

The crash remains under investigation. It was not known Monday afternoon if alcohol or drugs were a factor.

Goddard was a newspaper carrier for The Marietta Times.

The sound of sirens responding to the crash awakened 15-year-old Taylor Archer, who lives a few doors down from the crash site. It didn’t seem out of the ordinary on the curving, slanted section of road.

“There’s always sirens going through here,” Archer said.

He pointed across the road to two mailboxes that had to be replaced last year after being knocked over a hill in two separate crashes. Farther up the road was a yard where Archer said a flower bed had been driven through a while back.

“Sometimes you can hear their tires squeal when they go through that turn,” Archer said, indicating the area where troopers were working to reconstruct the accident.

The road is in a 55 mph zone, but Joe Payne, 60, who has lived on the road for more than 10 years, said it’s hard to drive safely at that speed.

“If you do 55 up this road, you can’t stay in the lines,” he said.