Boggs one

Josh Boggs stands on Wednesday morning at a memorial to his family at the intersection of Ganges-Five Points Road and Ohio 96 in northern Richland County.

SHELBY -- Josh Boggs walked up to the intersection of Ganges-Five Points Road and Ohio 96 on Wednesday morning, carrying a broken, hand-held "Stop" sign.

"This was in the van with us when the accident happened," he said. "My wife, Stacey, uses it as a school crossing guard."

It's a halting, haunting message the 42-year-old Shelby resident hopes will now be heeded at the intersection, where he lost two daughters and an unborn child in a horrific May 5 accident. Ten other people were injured in the crash.

That's because the Ohio Department of Transportation, working with the Richland County Engineer's Office, paved the county road-approaches to the state highway Wednesday and will install three sets of "rumble strips" both north and south of the rural intersection.

Those strips could be done on Thursday, weather permitting.

prepping

Workers prep the area near the intersection of Ganges-Five Points Road and Ohio 96 on Wednesday morning. Asphalt was to be added later and "rumble strips" will be added on Thursday, weather permitting.

An appreciative Boggs, who has lobbied for the safety improvements since the crash, watched from near the site of a memorial others have built for his family.

"It's incredible. Hopefully, everybody else who is affected can speak out and come see. I don't want to induce a lot of people to come here and maybe cause another tragedy, but I think we're going to be able to show people with pictures.

"We will show people that stuff will get done if we follow it through," said Boggs, whose forehead clearly shows the scar from the gash he suffered in the wreck. He also sustained a fractured skull, chipped vertebra and 30 to 40 stitches.

"All the people who said, 'Sure, it's great in principle' and 'Sure, they say they're going to do it' ... well, they are breaking ground and it's gonna happen. If we show people the end product, I think this will translate into other intersections getting fixed," Boggs said.

"We just have to show if that we don't fight and we just work together, I think people are quite willing to keep doing this where it needs to be done. In spite of the tragedy, this is a huge victory for all of us."

Boggs films

Shelby resident Josh Boggs films roadwork being done Wednesday morning to improve the safety of the intersection at Ganges-Five Points Road and Ohio 96.

THE CRASH:  The accident happened when Boggs' family, with Stacey driving, was westbound on Ohio 96 on their way home from church in Shenandoah. A Ford F-350 pickup truck, northbound on Ganges-Five Points, blew through a stop sign and slammed into the van, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Boggs' 10-month-old daughter, Katherine, who was in a car seat, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her sister, Faith 12, died a week later in a Columbus hospital.

His son, Bruce, 14, lost teeth and also bruised his spine. He has recently regained movement in his left leg. A stepdaughter, Raina Snavely, had a broken leg and had to get a metal rod inserted, Boggs said. Another Shelby girl, Brandi Bond, a friend of Boggs' daughter, was injured and is recovering. Stacey Boggs' mother, Drema, was injured, but is recovering.

Boggs daughters

Katherine (left) and Faith Boggs died as the result of injuries sustained in a two-vehicle crash on May 5 at the intersection of Ohio 96 and Ganges-Five Points Road. 

Stacey Boggs, 34, underwent brain surgery at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital and lost her unborn child. She is still in intensive care at the hospital, but shows signs of improvement.

"My wife has had a lot of trauma to the body, but that is stabilized. Her brain is the biggest issue. It's just a matter of healing. I don't know how coherent she is, but she is alive," Boggs said. "My babies, unfortunately, didn't make it. But their memory is definitely living on."

Richland County Prosecutor Gary Bishop said the crash is still under investigation by the patrol. "The matter will be forwarded to our office for review once the investigation is completed," the prosecutor said.

No charges have been filed against the other driver, Matthew McBride, 24, of New London.

McBride and three juvenile passengers in the pickup were transported to OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital after the accident with non-life threatening injuries.

THE SOLUTION: Boggs said the size of the tragedy seemed to wake people up to the dangers of the rural intersection, a site that has seen its share of wrecks, including a fatal accident in 2014.

"(Richland County Commissioner) Tony Vero had reached out to me. I started finding out who to talk to. I got the number for the Richland County Engineer (Adam Gove), ODOT District 3. I even reached out to (State Rep.) Mark Romanchuk, who had already known about it.

"I took the time to reach out in a friendly manner and just asked how we can all work together and they kind of already were. Everyone saw it. They didn't point fingers. They just said, 'How can we fix this?' They just got together and got it done," Boggs said.

ODOT recently agreed to pay for the paving and the safety strips.

Crash scene

Above are the two vehicles involved in a May 5 crash at the intersection of Ohio 96 and Ganges-Five Points Road in northern Richland County. (Photo provided by the Ohio State Highway Patrol)

A spiritual man, Boggs has also said since the accident he doesn't want to see anyone else's life ruined. But he feels punishment is in order.

"There have been a lot of accidents lately," Boggs said, looking over the work being done Wednesday. "I definitely am saying prayers for everyone. We're all hurting. The size of this accident, there is so much to deal with, a lot of evidence to put together ... so I imagine it just takes time.

"Until they start cracking down on these people ... there is a reason we've had so many accidents in the last month. The punishments they are giving are not telling people, 'Hey, you better slow down or something bad is going to happen,' because it's happening every day.

"Until they start making examples of people, it's going to keep happening and we can't have that."

City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"

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