May 29, 2010
OHIO CITY — Three teenagers, including the son of the Van Wert High School football coach, were seriously injured in a single-vehicle crash Saturday afternoon in rural Van Wert County.
It has been nearly two years since Tyler Priest, then 13, was seriously injured in a farming accident. On Saturday afternoon, he was a riding in a car with two of his cousins when the driver lost control on a rural road west of Ohio City and flipped several times, Lt. Raymond Haas, of the Van Wert post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said.
“They were out driving too fast on a country road. The pavement turned to gravel, when they hit the gravel they lost it,” Haas said. “They ended up out in a field. The driver was in good enough shape, he went down to a neighbor’s house about a quarter of a mile away to get help or who knows how long they’d have been laying out in the field.”
Haas said a witness reported the 2006 Toyota Prius was going about 70 mph when it passed his house shortly before the 4 p.m. crash on Ainsworth Road, approximately halfway between Dull-Robinson Road and Glenmore Road. Haas said the witness’ statement could not be verified. The Prius hit the gravel, went off the left side of the road, struck a ditch and rolled several times.
The driver, Joshua Bolenbaugh, 19, of Van Wert, and front seat passenger, Priest, 15, of Van Wert, were taken to Van Wert County Hospital. Bolenbaugh was then flown to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne, where he was listed in fair condition, according to a nursing supervisor. Priest was then flown to Toledo Children’s Hospital where he was listed in serious condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
A rear seat passenger, Cody Keirns, 14, of Van Wert, was flown directly from the scene to Parkview Hospital. Keirns was listed in critical condition, a nursing supervisor said.
Haas said Bolenbaugh and Priest were wearing seat belts and remained in the vehicle. Keirns was ejected from the vehicle as it rolled.
Priest was critically injured in a farming accident July 6, 2008, when he was run over by a tractor.