West Chester woman dies in crash on I-71 in Warren County

A Butler County woman died in a crash this morning on southbound Interstate 71 near the Mason Montgomery Road exit in Deerfield Township, Warren County, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Rebecca Lynn Kanaris, 40, of West Chester, was traveling southbound, while a white Freightliner semi pulling a box trailer, driven by Donald E. Shelby Jr., 47, of Indianapolis, was stopped on the right berm, according to a press release issued by the patrol’s Lebanon office.

MORE: 18-year-old Warren County’s 13th traffic fatality in 2018

Kanaris’ red 2005 Hyundai Elantra veered off the right side of the road and struck the back of the stopped tractor trailer in a crash reported at 7:07 a.m.

MORE: Teen dies in fatal on crash-prone section of U.S. 42

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Kanaris was pronounced dead at the scene by Deerfield Township Fire and EMS. Shelby was not injured.

The crash remains under investigation.

“Alcohol and drugs are not suspected to be factors in this crash. Distracted driving appears to have been a contributing factor,” according to the release issued by Lt. Chuck O’Bryon.

A cell phone was recovered from the scene, and a witness said Kanaris was weaving in and out of traffic before the crash, O’Bryon said.

The death is the 14th Warren County fatality of the year in 13 crashes.

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