BY ED GEBERT
Times Bulletin Editor
egebert@timesbulletin.com
VAN WERT — A weekend of many crashes in northeast Ohio kept emergency crews on the alert around the region. In Van Wert County, a 41-year-old Spencerville man was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash in which the Ohio State Highway Patrol suspects alcohol to be a contributing factor.
James A. Goetz was westbound Thursday night at approximately 10:08 p.m.on St. Rd. 116 near milepost 17 in Ridge Township when he drove his 2002 Harley-Davison off the right side of the road while negotiating a curve. Goetz came to a rest on the edge of a cornfield with the motorcycle on top of him. He was life-flighted by Samaritan helicopter to Parkview Regional Medial Center in Ft. Wayne, where he was last reported in stable condition. The Highway Patrol was assisted on scene by Middle Point Fire and EMS, Van Wert Fire Department, the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office, and Samaritan helicopter.
The crash remains under investigation. Goetz was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
Earlier on Thursday evening, a 2004 Chevrolet Trail Blazer overturned several times in Paulding County, injuring an Antwerp man. John Tuto, 34, was westbound on Paulding County Rd. 424 near Carryall Township Rd. 43 around 8 p.m. when the vehicle went off the right side of the road. Tuto overcorrected and then went off the left side of the road, striking a driveway which caused the vehicle to flip. It came to rest of the vehicle’s’s top. Tuto was flown to Parkview Regional Medical Center by Samaritan helicopter. Tuto was wearing his seat belt. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.
The Highway Patrol was assisted on the scene by Paulding County Sheriff’s Office and Antwerp Fire and EMS. The wreck is still under investigation.
A Friday crash injured two persons who had swerved to avoid another wreck. According to an investigation by the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, around 10:30 a.m.Ida Meyers, 54, Hilliard, Ohio was southbound in a 2008 Chevrolet pickup truck on Celina Mendon Rd, north of Howick Rd. A 1999 Dodge pickup driven by Kerry Zuercher, 51, Celina was behind Meyers’ truck and attempted to make a pass.
At that time 2000 Oldsmobile Bravada driven by Lynn M. Combs-Abels was traveling north when she saw the attempted pass. It appears she swerved off the right side of the road to avoid a collision. The Bravada then came back on the road and overturned, travelling off the west side of the road, coming to rest in a field. Combs-Abel and her passenger, Thomas Abels, 61, Mendon, were taken by ambulance to local hospitals. They were each helicoptered to Miami Valley Hospital. This accident remains under investigation. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Celina Fire and EMS, and MCERVE.
Meanwhile a fatal crash in Williams County Friday night claimed one life. At around 9:30 p.m., a 1998 Chevrolet S10 pickup, driven by Terrence Sheets, 24, Bryan, Ohio, went off the north side of the road while westbound on County Rd. D.
The truck then cross the highway and traveled off the south side of the road and rolled several times. Sheets was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Williams County Coroner. Sheets was not wearing a seatbelt. The crash is still under investigation.
Assisting at the scene were the Williams County Sheriff’s Office, Bryan Fire Department and the Williams County EMS.