Waynesville community mourning death of 2nd resident in fatal crash

TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED

The Waynesville community is mourning the loss of another resident, the second in less than a week killed in a fatal crash.

Annia Lechuga, 34, of Waynesville was pronounced dead at 3:45 p.m. Thursday after a two-car crash at the intersection of Ohio 73 and Old 73, a road leading into the village, according to authorities.

The crash followed another last Saturday in Butler County that claimed the life of Lonnie Shear, 70, of Waynesville, known for his work on the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival and on behalf of the Wanesville Area Chamber of Commerce.

His wife, Connie Shear, 69, remained in serious condition at Miami Valley Hospital where she was taken for treatment of injuries from the crash.

Stubbs-Conner Funeral Home is handling Shear's funeral arrangements. No details were available.

“The Waynesville community is very close,” said Courtney Wareing, owner of Yellow House Photography in Waynesville. “I think it kind of hit the community hard.”

RELATED: Waynesville woman identified as fatal victim of 2-car crash

On Friday, Doyle Burke, chief investigator for the Warren County Coroner’s Office, said Lechuga, eastbound on Ohio 73, was killed after turning left onto Old Ohio 73 into the path of a westbound motorist, just outside village limits.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office indicated Thursday that the other driver, who has not been identified, was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Ohio 73 was closed between Main Street and Township Line Road while deputies investigated at the scene.

No further information on the crash was available Friday from the sheriff’s office.

Wareing said she lives across from Annia Lechuga and her family, but had never met them, although Lechuga had contacted her about holiday photos in 2017.

Still after learning of the crash, Wareing encouraged the Lechuga family to privately message her on Facebook if they needed a hand.

There were other expressions of grief, as there were after Shear’s death.

RELATED: Waynesville remembers Lonnie Shear

“That’s what we do in Waynesville. We look out for one another,” Wareing said.

“Another family is grieving. We want to be respectfuland their friends of that,” she added.

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