PAULDING - The Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Van Wert Post is investigating a fatal crash that occurred at approximately 12:35 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, on Ohio 500 east of County Road 87 in Paulding County.

Dead is Aaron Crutchfield, 38, of Fort Wayne.

A 1998 Corvette, operated by Brandon Smith, age 29, of Paulding, was westbound on Ohio 500 at a high rate of speed. Troopers said Smith failed to negotiate a curve and drove off the right side of the roadway. The Corvette overturned several times before coming to rest in a field.

Crutchfield was the front seat passenger and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Smith was transported to Paulding County Hospital and later flown by Samaritan to Parkview.

The Van Wert Post was assisted on scene by Paulding and Payne fire departments and EMS personnel, the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, the Paulding County Coroner’s Office and J&R Towing.

Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash. The crash remains under investigation.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol encourages drivers and occupants to always wear their seat belts and never drive distracted or impaired.