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Published: Saturday, 7/25/2009

2 drivers killed in pair of crashes

Two northwest Ohio men were killed yesterday in separate three-vehicle accidents.

Willard Rodgers, 74, of Sylvania, was fatally injured in a motorcycle crash just after 6 a.m. in West Toledo.

Just minutes earlier in the Bowling Green area, James Didham, 65, of Bowling Green, was killed when his car was hit by a pickup that ran a stop sign.

Mr. Rodgers was eastbound on Monroe Street near Secor Road when a westbound car waiting to turn left into a gas station was rear-ended and sent into his path, Toledo police said.

Mr. Rodgers' motorcycle struck the side of that car, which was driven by Jamie Sieminski, 34, of West Toledo.

Mr. Rodgers was thrown nearly 60 feet, police said.

Mr. Rodgers, who was not wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The car of Mr. Sieminski, who was not hurt, was hit by a sport utility vehicle being driven by Leigha Bishop, 22, of South Toledo. She was treated at Toledo Hospital, police said.

Mr. Didham was southbound on State Rt. 64 about 5:50 a.m. when his car collided with the truck, which was westbound on Bishop Road, driven by Jason Stewart, 37, of Luckey.

That vehicle did not stop at a stop sign, according to troopers at the Ohio Highway Patrol's Bowling Green post.

Mr. Didham was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

The third vehicle involved was a van driven eastbound on Bishop by Matthew Elder, 39, of Bowling Green.

It was struck by Mr. Didham's car when it spun around after the initial collision, troopers said.

Mr. Elder declined treatment. Mr. Stewart was taken to Wood County Hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Both accidents remain under investigation.

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