JUNCTION – Three county residents were transported to area hospitals following a two-vehicle crash Sunday at the intersection of two county roads in Emerald Township. Two of the victims were later transferred to Fort Wayne via Lifeflight.
The Van Wert Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash, which occurred at 9:10 a.m. Aug. 24 on County Road 143 at County Road 232 in northeast Paulding County.
A 1998 Ford Windstar minivan driven by Lewis Belcher, age 72, of Paulding, was westbound on Road 232. According to troopers, Belcher failed to yield and collided with a 2002 Chrysler minivan driven by Shirley Hunsaker, age 72, of Grover Hill.
The Chrysler spun off the west side of the roadway, overturning into a cornfield before coming to rest on its side in the ditch. Belcher’s vehicle slid off the northwest side of the intersection coming to rest in the cornfield.
Hunsaker was transported to the Defiance Regional Medical Center prior to being transported to a Fort Wayne area hospital for treatment of her life-threatening injuries. A front seat passenger, Dewayne Hunsaker, also was transported to Defiance Regional Medical Center and on to Fort Wayne for treatment.
Belcher was transported to Paulding County Hospital, where he was treated and then released.
Seatbelts were in use by all individuals involved in the crash and airbags were deployed in both vehicles.
Alcohol is not a factor in the crash and the investigation is ongoing.
Assisting at the scene were Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, Paulding EMS and Fire Department, Gideon’s Towing, and J&R towing.
Note: The Ohio State Highway Patrol urges all drivers to use caution at intersections. Stop at all pavement markings indicating the location of the stop point. If there are no pavement markings, be sure to stop prior to the sidewalk or crosswalk. In the absence of pavement markings, sidewalks or crosswalks please stop prior to entering the intersection where oncoming traffic can be seen clearly. Drivers approaching intersections should always drive defensively and be prepared to take evasive action.