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Patrol: Alcohol not factor in Ripley Township fatality

Cary Ashby • Oct 5, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Alcohol results were negative for both drivers in a two-vehicle collision between tractor-trailer and a sub-compact car that killed a Milan woman.

Kathleen M. Blackburn, 58, of 20 Old State Road, was pronounced dead at the scene of the Ripley Township collision Sept. 4. The fatal accident happened just before 10 a.m. at the intersection of New State Road and U.S. 224.

It's standard procedure for troopers to get alcohol-related blood samples during the investigation of fatalities.

"It was never suspected in that crash," said a spokeswoman for the state Highway Patrol's Norwalk post.

Blackburn was driving a 1998 Toyota Corolla while the semi driver, Nathan L. Armstrong, 30, of Fort Wayne, Ind., was operating a 2012 International truck. The entire Corolla sustained severe damage. The right front and right side of the truck had similar damage.

Troopers determined Blackburn failed to yield from a posted stop sign on New State Road and was hit by the truck. The semi was in the eastbound lane of U.S. 224.

Blackburn was coming back from a Shiloh preschool, where she had been working for the last couple months. She taught in a program for the 3-year-old children of migrant workers.

For most of Blackburn's career, she was a kindergarten teacher. She also had substituted for several area public schools and taught kindergarten in Texas before moving to Milan about three years ago.

North Central EMS transported Armstrong to Fisher-Titus Medical Center with minor, non-life-threatening injuries.

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