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Crash ends police chase

December 8, 2011

Home at right hit by fleeing car. (Photo by Debbie Eichelberger)

    A police pursuit through Decatur at 12:35 p.m. Wednesday resulted in a driver being sought by authorities striking a van and then plowing into a house on N. Second Street.
    Decatur Police Chief Ken Ketzler said this morning that the individual described as being a black male in his 30s tried to pass a check at the Innovative Concepts store at 1421 Manchester Street, but store officials became suspicious and notified police.
    Police said the man left the store before they arrived, but Adams County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Eric Meyer was near the scene and was able to start tailing the individual as he left on 13th Street. The chase started on 13th and after the man turned onto Meibers Street, he turned right onto 11th Street. At the intersection of 11th and Washington, he struck a van belonging to the Adams County Council on Aging, which forced his car to spin around.
    He then proceeded east on Washington Street to Second Street and turned right. He lost control of his auto and it went through a yard before crashing into a house at 418 N. Second Street. Police said the house, currently vacant, is owned by Bill Zwick Sr.
    Ketzler said police estimated damage to the house at approximately $15,000.
    Paramedics transported the driver to the Adams Memorial Hospital, but before police were able to question him, he was flown to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne with injuries suffered in the crash. Ketzler said an initial report said the driver had a fractured arm and possible broken leg, in addition to other injuries.
    Police were unable to identify the driver Wednesday but Ketzler said that Fort Wayne police have become involved in the case because once the driver's name was documented, it was learned there were warrants for his arrest outstanding in Allen County.
    Ketzler said the man's name will be released once the final report of Wednesday's crash and accident are completed, which will likely be today.
    The car being driven in the incident is owned by a woman from Bluffton, a person that Ketzler said appears to be a girl friend of the driver.
    Damage estimates to the car and the Council on Aging van were not immediately available.

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