Four crashes in less than 24 hours result in two dead
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 12:00 AM
Crews work at the scene of a Monday afternoon crash on U.S. 127 southeast of Ohio City where a Centerville, Ohio woman was killed. This fatal crash is one of four serious accidents to occur in the region on Monday. (dhiMEDIA/Ed Gebert)
VAN WERT — Monday was not a safe day on roads in Van Wert County and across the region. On U.S. 127 southeast of Ohio City, a 76-year-old Centerville, Ohio woman was killed when her 2002 Buick crossed the center line directly into the path of an oncoming Freightliner tractor-trailer rig.
Carole B. Dunaway was killed in the crash around 12:20 p.m.
The vehicles hit head on near the intersection of U.S. 127 and Walnut Grove Church Rd., about six miles south of Van Wert.
The semi was driven by Ben A. Bernard, 69, Zionsville, Ohio. He was taken to Van Wert Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries. Dunaway was pronounced dead at the scene and was taken to the Lucas County Coroner’s Office by Brickner EMS. U.S. 127 was closed for part of the afternoon while the crash scene was cleared.
Shortly afterward, a crash on U.S. 30 west of Van Wert sent an Indiana to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne with serious injuries.
At 12:35 p.m. a 1997 Lincoln LS driven by Larry D. Kohlhorst, 71, Leo, Indiana was northbound on Richey Rd., approaching the intersection with U.S. 30. Sandra Kohlhorst, 70, had just taken off her seat belt to get a sandwich out of a bag in the car. The Kohlhorsts crossed the median and pulled into the westbound lanes of the four-lane highway. However, instead of pulling into the near left-hand lane, Kohlhorst pulled into the far right-hand lane into the path of a tractor-trailer rig fully loaded with hogs on the trailer.
The 80,000-pound truck and cargo could not stop or avoid hitting the car from behind. The Lincoln spun around, hitting the guardrail on the north side of the highway. The speed and impact caused Sandra Kohlhorst to be ejected from the driver side window, She was flung over the guardrail and landed on the grass. The vehicles continued down U. S. 30 for another 500 feet before they could be stopped.
Sandra Kohlhorst was taken by Brickner’s Ambulance to Parkview Hospital. Her condition was not released.
According to the report from the Van Wert Sheriff’s Office, Larry Kohlhorst reported that they had stopped in Van Wert to get food. He does not like driving the long curved entrance ramp from U.S. 224, so he decided to take the back roads and went down Richey Rd. instead.
Another fatality occurred on U. S. 127 in Darke County Monday afternoon. In that wreck, an 84-year West Manchester man became sleepy while driving southbound near Castine. Everett S. Henn lost control of his 1999 Buick Park Avenue and struck a bridge. The car rolled down an embankment, coming to rest in a ditch.
A passenger, Phyllis E. Henn, 79, wife of the driver, died at the scene of the crash in an ambulance. Everett Henn was hospitalized in critical condition.
On Sunday night at 8:45, a 19-year old Hicksville woman was hurt when her Chevrolet S-10 pickup failed to yield to traffic on U.S. 24. Courtney M. Schaffer’s vehicle was struck by a 2005 Dodge Ram pickup traveling eastbound. The driver of the Dodge was David W. Ashenfelter, 45, Flora, Indiana. He had to be mechanically extracted from the vehicle. Ashenfelter and his passenger, Michelle R. Soupley, 44, Flora, Indiana were taken to Defiance Regional Hospital by Paulding EMS.
Schaffer was flown by Samaritan Helicopter to Parkview Regional Hospital in Fort Wayne. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in any of the crashes.