published Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

East Tennessee family among victims of fatal wrong-way highway crash in Ohio

A person takes photos at the scene of a head-on collision involving two minivans on Interstate 75 near Franklin, Ohio.
A person takes photos at the scene of a head-on collision involving two minivans on Interstate 75 near Franklin, Ohio.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

CINCINNATI — Four people were killed early Sunday when a minivan carrying a family leaving a Christmas party went the wrong way on a southwestern Ohio highway and hit another minivan whose driver and family were going to see grandparents for the holidays, police said.

The 2:30 a.m. head-on collision on Interstate 75 near Franklin claimed the lives of three adults and a 7-year-old boy and critically injured two other children, said Ohio State Patrol Sgt. Stan Jordan.

Alcohol was a suspected factor, Jordan said. Investigators smelled liquor in the minivan that was going the wrong way and found a bottle of alcohol in the vehicle, he said.

Jordan said Joshua Nkansah, 40, of Fairfield, was driving with his children when he turned his minivan around on the highway and started driving the wrong way. The vehicle hit another minivan carrying Scott and Michele Barhorst, of Madisonville, Tenn., and their four children, who range in age from 8 to 18, the officer said.

Nkansah was killed along with his 7-year-old son, David, and 31-year-old Michele Barhorst, Jordan said. Scott Barhorst, 37, later died at a Cincinnati hospital.

Jordan said Nkansah’s 4-year-old son, Darius, and the Barhorsts’ 9-year-old daughter, Haley, were in critical condition.

The Barhorsts were headed to St. Mary’s in western Ohio to visit the children’s grandparents for Christmas, Jordan said. Nkansah’s wife was home at the time of the accident, he said.

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