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Columbus woman dies crossing U.S. 31


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A 39-year-old woman walking across U.S. 31 in Franklin was killed Thursday night when she was hit by a car.

Jennifer Zapo, who lived in the Columbus area, appears to have left Walmart and walked across the highway in front of two side-by-side cars around 8:30 p.m. near Acorn Road, Franklin police spokesman Kerry Atwood said. The road is near the entrance to Northwood Apartments, off U.S. 31.

A vehicle, driven by 17-year-old Emily Dial, of Columbus, was traveling southbound in the right lane and struck Zapo.

The teen told police she didn’t see Zapo, who was wearing dark clothing, soon enough to avoid hitting her and swerved too late, Atwood said. Dial had attended a wrestling meet at Franklin Community High School and was heading home on U.S. 31, Atwood said.

Neither alcohol nor high speed are considered to be factors in the accident, according to a news release from the Franklin police. The speed limit on that section of U.S. 31 is 40 mph.

As is typical with accidents involving a serious injury or death, breath and blood tests were done on the driver to check for alcohol or other controlled substances. The breath test showed Dial’s blood-alcohol content was zero, Atwood said.

The place where Zapo was struck is a shadowy area between streetlights, Coroner Craig Lutz said.

The road was dry and clear of snow and ice when the accident happened Thursday night, Atwood said.

Dial, who had no passengers in her vehicle, was not injured.

Zapo was declared dead at the scene. The Johnson County coroner’s office was investigating her death Friday.

As part of helping reconstruct the accident, the coroner will use photos and X-rays, as well as routine blood tests to check for drugs or alcohol, Lutz said. An autopsy is not being conducted, he said.

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