LIMA — Officials with the Ohio State Highway Patrol said drugs may have played a role in a traffic accident Monday afternoon in Bath Township that left a Wisconsin man dead.
According to patrol officials, a vehicle operated by Lance J. Ward, 25, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was traveling north on Thayer Road at about 3:18 p.m. Monday when he reportedly failed to yield the right of way to an Allen County Regional Transit Authority bus driven by Elizabeth Flowers, 56, of Lima, that was eastbound on state Route 81.
Ward’s vehicle was struck by the bus, which caused it to run off the roadway. A rear-seat passenger in the vehicle, William J. Samp, 29, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was fatally injured in the crash.
Another passenger, Samantha J. Beck, 25, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, suffered injuries that were not life-threatening and was taken to Lima Memorial Health System by Layette-Jackson Township EMS. An additional passenger, Danielle S. Marquard, 25, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to Lima Memorial Health System by Bath Township EMS. Ward was also taken to Lima Memorial Health System by Lafayette-Jackson Township EMS with non-life-threatening injuries.
Flowers was taken to Mercy Health St. Rita’s Medical Center by Perry EMS. All five passengers on the transport bus were uninjured as a result of the crash.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, Perry Township Police, Perry Township EMS, Bath Township Fire and EMS, Lafayette-Jackson Township EMS, the Allen County Coroner’s Office, and Army’s Towing.
Safety belts were used in both vehicles before the crash. Drug use was suspected as being a factor in the crash, which remained under investigation Tuesday, according to a report from the state patrol.