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Community pays tribute to man who died in car crash

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 10:30 PM EDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) - Flowers and a cross are set up along state Route 93 in Jackson where a fatal car crash happened Friday afternoon.

Paul Nickels says he’d just pulled into his driveway and gotten out of his truck when the head-on crash happened just a few feet from him.

“The silver car had went left of center,” he said.

Bits of flying debris came close to striking him.

“It just flew everywhere, right past my ears,” he said. “Pieces of headlight missed me and stuck in the fence.”

Marcus Putman, 31, who was driving a silver car, was killed. According to his obituary, he served six years in the U.S. Army and loved daydreaming with his wife and daughter about the life they were building together.

Putman’s funeral was held Tuesday with military honors.

A 73-year-old woman, who was driving an SUV, was flown to a hospital in Huntington. Her grandson was in the passenger seat and suffered minor injuries.

“The only thing I could do was reach in and touch her arm and talk to her and let her know we were there for her,” Nickels said. “She was pretty frantic.”

Ohio State Highway Patrol says the cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Man dead, two injured in southeast Ohio crash

“I just want to make sure we tell people buckle up, wear their seatbelt, don’t drink and drive, put the phone down, and slow down,” Trooper Michael McManis said.

Nickels says drivers frequently speed and drive distracted on that stretch of Route 93, which is near the Camba Road intersection.

“It’s not worth speeding and doing this and that on this stretch of road,” he said. “People just need to slow down a little bit.”

Nickels says he became emotional when he learned one of the drivers didn’t survive.

“I had to walk away,” he said. “I had tears in my eyes.”

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