4-year-old girl killed in Tuscarawas County crash along I-77

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The New Philadelphia Highway Patrol Post is currently investigating a tragic single-vehicle crash that claimed the life of a young girl on Wednesday evening.

According to authorities, the incident occurred on Interstate 77 near milepost 88 in Franklin Township, Tuscarawas County. The crash involved a maroon 2007 Honda Civic traveling northbound on I-77 at around 5:47 p.m.

Reports indicate that the driver, identified as 38-year-old Josue De Leon Rivera from Dover, lost control of the vehicle, causing it to veer off the left side of the roadway, strike the raised grass median, and overturn.

De Leon Rivera and two passengers were injured in the crash. He was taken to Cleveland Clinic Mercy Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, while a 7-year-old male passenger was also transported to the same hospital for minor injuries.

A 4-year-old female passenger sustained severe injuries in the crash and was rushed to Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital, where she was later pronounced deceased.

Assisting agencies at the scene included the Strasburg Fire Department, Smith Ambulance, Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office, Bolivar Fire Department, and Greg’s Towing.

Authorities have stated that alcohol is not believed to be a contributing factor in the incident, though the investigation into the crash is ongoing.