PAULDING — Alcohol is believed to be a factor in a fatal traffic mishap that took place shortly before midnight Tuesday in Paulding County.
According to the Van Wert post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, an unidentified male was westbound on Paulding County Road 144, just east of Road 83, when his 2013 Ford Fusion struck the rear of a tractor/farm implement operated by Francis Maag, 46, of Paulding. The auto slid off the right side of the roadway and came to rest in a ditch. The driver was extricated by emergency crews and was taken to Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne by helicopter.
The Ford was occupied by three passengers, all who had not been identified at press time. The front-seat passenger was pronounced dead at the scene by Paulding County Coroner Dr. Joseph Kuhn. Both rear-seat passengers were transported to Paulding Hospital to be treated. Both were then transported to Parkview Regional for additional treatment. Maag was uninjured.