SHELBY -- Josh Boggs lost two daughters and an unborn baby. His wife remains in a medically-induced coma after undergoing brain surgery. His son remains in the hospital with a badly bruised spinal column.
Even as he deals with unending grief and pain from a horrific May 5 crash at the intersection of Ohio 96 and Ganges-Five Points Road, the 42-year-old Shelby man is working to make safer that rural junction of state highway and county road in northern Richland County.
"I am not going to be silent. It has to get fixed," Boggs said Monday evening, the very night he and his wife, Stacey, should have been together, celebrating their second wedding anniversary.
"I guarantee you could get a lot of people to tell stories about that intersection. My family has sacrificed. I want it to count for something," he said. "I want something positive to come out of all of this.
"I will say it 1,000 times ... this should not have happened."
IN AN INSTANT: Boggs, whose wife was driving when the crash occurred, said he has no memory of the wreck, which happened as the family was riding home in a minivan from Sunday church services in Shenandoah.
He suffered a gash to his forehead, a fractured skull, chipped vertebra and 30 to 40 stitches.
"I woke up in the hospital on Tuesday," he said. "They told me I was talking on Monday, but I don't remember that."
At 1:26 p.m., the family was westbound on Ohio 96 when 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.
The sheer force of the impact forced the van off the road and overturned it, ejecting several occupants. The patrol said several occupants in the van and also the driver of the pickup truck were not wearing seat belts.
Boggs' 10-month-old daughter, Katherine, who was in a car seat, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Her sister, Faith 12, was taken by medical helicopter to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, but never recovered and was pronounced brain dead exactly one week later.
Stacey Boggs, 34, underwent brain surgery at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital. Her husband, who said their unborn child was lost, said doctors had begun working to bring her out of the coma they had induced.
His son, Bruce, 14, lost teeth and also bruised his spine. "He has feeling all over, but he can't move his left leg. Doctors think he will be OK through rehab," his dad said.
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.
The driver of the F-350 was Matthew McBride, 24, of New London. He and three juvenile passengers in the pickup were transported to OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The patrol said Monday afternoon no citations have yet been issued from the crash, which saw response from Franklin Fire and EMS, Shiloh Fire and EMS, Shelby Fire and EMS and Community EMS, as well as three medical helicopters.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Office and Richland County Coroner’s Office also responded. Ohio 96 and Ganges Five Points Road were both closed while the crash was investigated.
SAFER INTERSECTION: There are "stop ahead" signs on Ganges-Five Points Road before the intersection with Ohio 96, according to Richland County Engineer Adam Gove.
There are also stop signs at the point of the intersection on both sides of Ganges-Five Points at the intersection with the state highway.
It was a clear, even sunny, Sunday afternoon at the time of the accident. Nothing obscured the drivers' views of the intersection. There is seemingly no reason for the accident to have occurred.
Boggs has revisited the crash site with his brother and created a video on his Facebook page.
"If (McBride) had braked at all, I would still have my family," Boggs said. "If he would have slowed down, this wouldn't have happened. A lot of people fly down country roads. This guy was in an F-350 ... imagine a minivan being hit by a tow truck.
"It took the earth behind us to stop us," he said, referencing a dirt berm on the northwest side of the crossing.
Boggs, a spiritual man who earlier this week asked for continued prayers for both families in the accident, said he isn't interested in assigning blame. He just wants the intersection made safer.
"Four-way stop ... flashing lights ... rumble strips ... I just want something that works. Our society today is so pass-the-buck. They say 'That needs addressed' and then move on to the next thing without fixing it.
"It only takes a moment to stop. I am sorry if it takes an extra 10 seconds out of your day. I am getting so many offers from people to help. They want to do good. They are ready. I could get 1,000 people out there to picket to get that intersection fixed," Boggs said.
"I want the people higher up to say they will fix it. It could be done in a day."
Numerous fundraisers to assist the Boggs' family with medical and funeral bills are underway, including a GoFund me page that had raised more than $10,000 by early Tuesday morning.
His own Facebook page is replete with photos of his wife and children. That site now includes post after post from friends and family members with love, well wishes and fundraising efforts being made on the family's behalf.
"I am not asking for money, but if people want to be kind," Boggs said. "We have gotten so much support from our (Shenandoah Christian) church and so many other people."
UNDER STUDY: The county engineer said he has been to the crash site, which he said is the combined responsibility of ODOT (Ohio 96) and the county (Ganges-Five Points Road).
Gove said the stop signs at the intersection are ODOT's responsibility. The "stop ahead" signs are the county's.
"I have called ODOT to see what they are coming up with in terms of options at that intersection. We want to do the right thing," Gove said.
Gove said his research has found five accidents at that intersection in the last five years. "I won't say that's a lot, but they tend to be more severe when they occur there," he said.
"(ODOT) will want to make sure if they put in other signalization that it's effective," the engineer said.
Gove said he doesn't think it will take ODOT long to make a decision.
"I think it can happen relatively quickly. They probably have a list of intersections they want to get to. I just want to know if this is one they are watching and where do we stand with it," Gove said.