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Speed appears to be a factor in the death of a 52-year-old woman whose car ran off Interstate 271 in Northfield Center Wednesday, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
Summit County Medical Examiner investigators said Thursday that Stow resident Linda Smearsoll’s death was caused by multiple blunt-force trauma injuries. He said toxicology tests are pending.
In a press release issued Thursday, deputies said Ms. Smearsoll was traveling southbound about 7:15 a.m. Wednesday in a 2012 Toyota Corolla about one mile south of Route 8 when her car went off the right side of the roadway and struck a construction equipment trailer being unloaded on the right berm. She was not wearing a seatbelt.
Sheriff’s Inspector William Holland said witnesses at the scene reported Ms. Smearsoll had been changing lanes and driving in an “erratic” manner prior to the crash. He said a worker stepped away from the equipment trailer moments before Ms. Smearsoll crashed into it.
ODOT District 4 spokesman Brent Kovacs said workers had been unloading equipment needed as part of a resurfacing project on that stretch of the highway set to begin May 30. One lane of the highway was closed for about three hours following the crash.
The crash is being investigated by the Summit Metro Crash Response Team, the sheriff’s office stated.