Woman pleads not guilty in triple fatal crash

LISBON, Ohio (WYTV) – A Hanoverton woman was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide for her role in an accident that left three people dead, including a child.

Rachael K. Lindesmith, 31, of Hanoverton, was arraigned Thursday in Columbiana County Court on aggravated vehicular homicide in connection to the Jan. 19 crash on Route 518 in Wayne Township.

James Nign,39, his wife Meghann, 27, and Addisyn Benzel, 11, died in the crash.

Lindesmith pleaded not guilty at her arraignment. Bond was set at $25,000.

According to police reports, Lindesmith was traveling east on Route 518 when she drove left of center and into the path of a Chevy Equinox carrying 8 passengers along with the driver.

Police said the Nigns were not wearing seat belts and Benzel was riding in the rear cargo area and did not have a seat belt available. She was ejected from the vehicle.

Six other children, ranging in age from 9 months to 11 years old, also were inside the Equinox. According to a report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, they included:

McKenna Nign, 11, who was in the rear cargo area with no restraints available. She was taken to Akron Children’s Hospital by ambulance.

McKayla Howard, 11, who also was in the rear cargo area with no restraints available. She was taken by ambulance to Aultman Hospital in Canton.

Savanah D. Nign, 6, who was seated on Meghann Nign’s lap in the front passenger seat. She was taken by helicopter to UPMC Children’s Hospital.

Chase Nign, 4, who was in a child safety seat in the back seat. He was taken by helicopter to UPMC Children’s Hospital.

Brody Nign, 1, who was in a child safety seat in the back seat. He was taken by helicopter to UPMC Children’s Hospital.

Payslee Nign, 9 months, who was in a child safety seat in the back seat. She was taken by helicopter to UPMC Children’s Hospital.

The group was on their way to a family function in Minerva.

Lindesmith and her 9-month-old son were treated for injuries at Saint Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown and at Salem Regional Medical Center.

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