March 22, 2008

NBC-Lima Reporter Dies in Accident

By Bart Mills, The Lima News, Ohio

Mar. 22--LIMA -- The short career of a local television journalist ended in a fatal Columbus car accident Thursday.

Don Howard, a sports reporter and sometime anchor for WLIO NBC Lima, died in a car accident Thursday night.

The 29-yearold was a passenger in a car driven by Zachery Thompson, 28, when it crashed.

Investigators say Thompson was attempting to flee the scene of a different crash when he crossed the center line and struck another car. The driver of that car, Rhonda Lamark, 58, of Westerville, also died.

Thompson was taken to Ohio State Medical Center where he is listed in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said. He has been charged with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, Columbus police said.

Howard started at NBCLima in August. The Ohio State University graduate reported on local sports events and occasionally filled in as a news anchor.

WLIO employees said Friday they were shocked by the sudden loss.

"To us here at NBC Lima, Don was the guy you went to for a laugh. He always had a smile on his face and a joke ready to tell. As news of Don's passing spread throughout the newsroom, first came tears then a smile knowing Don would want all who knew him to live their life to the fullest, just as he did, and never miss an opportunity to laugh," station managers said in a release Friday.

Funeral arrangements are with Devore Snyder Funeral Home in Delaware, where services will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday. Viewing will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

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