Van Wert County crash kills one


VAN WERT — One person died in a two-vehicle crash early Friday in Van Wert County, and others are injured, according to a news release from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Van Wert Post.

The crash was reported at 7:40 a.m. Friday at state Route 188 and Wren Landeck Road.

An SUV driven by Gradi Bokuma, 21, of New Bern, North Carolina, was westbound on Wren Landeck Road. A car driven by Sydney Rutledge, 17, of Rockford, was northbound on state Route 118.

The Bokuma vehicle failed to stop for the stop sign at the intersection. It entered the intersection and was struck by the Rutledge vehicle. Both vehicles traveled off the northwest side of the intersection striking a utility pole. The Bokuma vehicle rolled onto its side.

In the Bokuma vehicle were Chosen Bokuma, 14, of Lexington, Kentucky, who suffered minor injuries and transported to Van Wert Health; Clarvina Mbombo, 8, of Lexington, Kentucky, who suffered serious injuries and flown to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Mubenga “Benita” Mbombo, 46, of Lexington, Kentucky, who died. The driver, Gradi Bokuma, suffered minor injuries and was transported to Van Wert Health.

Rutledge sustained minor injuries and was transported to Van Wert Health.

State Route 118 was closed for four hours.

Troopers were assisted at the scene by the Van Wert Sheriff’s Office, ODOT, Ohio City Fire and Rescue, Van Wert Rescue, Samaritan Air Ambulance, Van Wert Deputy Coroner, Cowan & Son’s Funeral Home, Hague’s Towing and Straightline Towing.

Safety belts were worn by all occupants and impairment is not believed to be a factor. The crash remains under investigation.

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