PERRY TOWNSHIP — Five people were transported to hospital Tuesday morning after a five-car crash on state Route 309 east of Lima.
According to a release issued Thursday by the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, shortly before 10 a.m., a school bus was stopped on the highway at 3232 Harding Highway to pick up children. The school bus was on the road at that hour due to school delays for fog that morning. Four vehicles were stopped behind the bus when a Schneider National Carriers commercial truck, driven by Jay Andrew Bane, 29, of Lakeview, failed to stop, rear-ending the rear vehicle and causing all four vehicles behind the bus to be hit.
The first vehicle to be hit was a 1994 Lincoln driven by Bennie H. Ricker, 74, of Lima. His vehicle then hit a 1995 Mercedes driven by Ralph M. Snyder, 62, of Lima. His wife, Amy E. Snyder, 47, of Lima was also in the vehicle. Snyder then hit a 2011 GMC Canyon driven by Donald M. Coburn, 61, of Lima, who then hit a 2010 Toyota Tacoma, driven by Joshua Benjamin Storer, 21, of Phoenix, Arizona. A passenger, Marlin Wade Ellis, 20, of Bluffton, was also in the vehicle. The school bus was not struck during the crash. Bane was not injured and alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash.
Amy Snyder remembers the moments leading up to the accident.
“My husband saw the semi first and he said, ‘It’s not slowing down, it’s not slowing down,’ and we got hit and plowed into three other cars.”
While the area was foggy earlier in the day, Snyder discounts fog as a contributing factor in the accident.
“Earlier in the morning, it was foggy, but at the time of the accident, it was not foggy at all,” she said. “After the accident, I could see people standing all around. It was very clear.”
Ricker, Ralph and Amy Snyder and Coburn were all transported to Lima Memorial Health System, while Storer and Ellis were transported to St. Rita’s Medical Center. Storer and Ellis have both been released from hospital. Snyder reported that both her husband and Ricker remain in critical condition in Lima Memorial’s Intensive Care Unit.
The accident remains under investigation by the Allen County Sheriff’s Office. Perry Township Fire Department EMS and Bath Township Fire Department EMS assisted at the scene.