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Kent politician killed in crash

Beacon Journal staff report

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A Kent man was killed Friday morning after his sports utility vehicle was struck by a semi-tractor trailer on Interstate 76 at the Summit-Portage county line, police said.

The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office says the crash claimed the life of a 42-year-old William Roak Zeller.

As a Republican candidate, Zeller had previously run for Portage County commissioner, state representative and Kent City Council.

A preliminary report shows Zeller was driving westbound on I-76 and was slowing for traffic in response to another crash when his SUV was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer at about 8 a.m. Zeller’s vehicle then collided with a third vehicle. That driver was unharmed.

The truck driver was treated for unspecified injuries at an area hospital. Zeller died at the scene.

The collision caused the highway and the ramp from state Route 532 to I-76 to be closed for about three hours.

Tallmadge police are investigating the crash and Lt. Ron Williams said in a press release that it does not appear that alcohol nor reckless driving contributed to the crash. Charges, however, are expected to be filed, he said.


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