Victim’s name released in Paulding County fatal accident


PAULDING — The Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Van Wert Post released the name of the man who died in a fatal traffic accident Christmas night.

The front-seat passenger in a 2013 Ford Fusion, Victor Alvarez Hernandez, 20, of Paulding, was pronounced dead at the scene by Paulding County Coroner Dr. Joseph Kuhn.

The driver of the vehicle, Joel Molina, 19, was trapped within the vehicle and required extrication before being transported by Samaritan to Parkview Regional Medical Center, Fort Wayne, with serious injuries.

Two other passengers, 25-year-old Ever Alvarez Gomez and 23-year-old Ranulfo Lopez Perez, were transported to Paulding Hospital before being sent to Parkview.

According to the post, alcohol was believed to be a factor when Molina ran his Fusion into the rear of a tractor/farm implement on Road 144, just east of Road 83. The driver of the tractor, 46-year-old Francis Maag, of Paulding, was not injured.

The Ford slid off the right side of the roadway and came to rest in a ditch. The crash remains under investigation.

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