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Ross County – One Vehicle Fire on State Route 207 Results in Tragedy, Bystander Hailed as Hero


Chillicothe, Ohio – March 5, 2024 – A single-vehicle fire erupted on State Route 207 near Cattail Road in Ross County on March 3rd, 2024, leaving one person dead and two others seriously injured. The Chillicothe Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is currently investigating the cause of the blaze.

According to reports, the incident unfolded around 2:56 PM when a 2009 Honda Element driven by 62-year-old Timothy R. Landman of New Holland veered off the road and came to a halt. The vehicle’s passenger compartment then became engulfed in flames.

Mr. Landman managed to escape the burning vehicle, but his passenger, 82-year-old Linda J. Stinson, of New Holland, became trapped inside. Witness Matthew I. French, a 51-year-old resident of Chillicothe, sprang into action upon noticing the vehicle in distress. He bravely assisted Ms. Stinson in escaping the inferno before first responders arrived at the scene.

Both Mr. Landman and Ms. Stinson sustained critical injuries and were airlifted to the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for treatment by MedFlight. Mr. French, who sustained minor injuries in the process of aiding Ms. Stinson, was transported to the Adena Regional Medical Center by Green Township EMS, treated, and subsequently released.

Tragically, Ms. Stinson succumbed to her injuries from the fire.

The Ohio State Fire Marshal has been called in to launch a comprehensive investigation to determine the cause of the fire.

Several agencies collaborated to manage the scene, including the Ross County Sheriff’s Office, Union Township EMS and Fire Department, Green Township EMS, Concord Township EMS, Scioto Township EMS, and MedFlight. The involved section of State Route 207 remained closed for roughly two hours while the investigation and response efforts were underway.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol emphasizes that the investigation into this incident is ongoing. While the cause of the fire remains undetermined, the swift and courageous actions of Mr. French undoubtedly played a crucial role in saving Mr. Landman’s life.