The origins and destinations of the flights weren't immediately known, but all the victims were from Ohio, Patrol Capt. Jim Holt said.
One plane came to rest upside-down in a field in this mostly rural community 15 miles east of Akron.
The other crashed about a quarter-mile away near a housing development. The tail was broken off and one of the wings was nearly separated from the plane.
"The debris was floating in the sky, wings flipping and the planes were both spiraling out of control," said Donald Litsinger, who raises livestock near the crash site and heard the explosion.
Christopher J. Erdovegi, 19, of Lakewood, and Alan L. Lyons, 38, of Shreve, died in a Cessna that crashed in the field. John P. Plavcan, 55, and Mark P. Schaden, 36, of Middlefield, died in the other plane, a Lancair, Holt said.
The Lancair was registered to Plavcan of Newbury, about 25 miles east of Cleveland, according to the Federal Aviation Administration Web site.
No one on the ground was injured.
The FAA said investigators from the agency and the National Transportation Safety Board were sent to investigate the cause of the crash.