There were three significant accidents in the area this weekend, leading to two people losing their lives.
Law enforcement suspects that alcohol may have been involved in all three, and the accidents follow two serious ones that happened last week.
The three weekend crashes sent multiple people to hospitals, some requiring that they be airlifted to medical centers outside the area.
The first accident happened about 7:27 p.m. Saturday near Rochester, according to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office.
Nathan Baldridge, 26, of Silver Lake, was driving an off-road dirt bike and went off the road on Fulton County Road 550 North near County Road 600 East. According to the official statement from the sheriff’s department, it’s not known why Baldridge lost control and was thrown from the vehicle.
“Life saving measures were attempted on scene but were unsuccessful,” the press release stated.
Baldridge was not wearing a helmet when he crashed, and “it is believed at this time that alcohol may be a contributing factor,” according to the sheriff’s department.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the crash with the assistance of Fulton County Coroner Jerri Good.
Other agencies assisting were Lutheran EMS and Mentone Fire/EMS Department.
The second accident involved two vehicles and took place about 8:19 p.m. at Indiana 25 and old State Road 25 southwest of Logansport.
According to Cass County Sheriff Ed Schroder, Michael Shaw, 73, of rural Logansport, was driving a 1953 Kaiser Frazer two-door passenger car, going south on Old State Road 25.
Shaw attempted to cross Indiana 25, pulling into the northbound lanes without yielding the right of way to a 2005 four-door Pontiac, according to the sheriff’s press release.
The Pontiac, driven by Bonnie Julian, 26, of Peru, hit Shaw’s car.
Shaw was pronounced dead at the scene by the Cass County Coroner’s Office. A passenger in his car, Shawnette Shaw, was transported to Saint Elizabeth East hospital in Lafayette because of serious injuries.
Julian and her two juvenile passengers were transported to IU Arnett Hospital in Lafayette with injuries that weren’t life threatening.
“Alcohol is believed to be a factor in this crash,” the press release states.
The Indiana State Police crash reconstruction unit went to assist at the scene, and the Cass County’s Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the matter.
Responding agencies included Clinton Township Fire Department, the Indiana State Police, Logansport Fire Department, Logansport Police Department and Phoenix Ambulance Service.
The third accident happened about 4:25 a.m. Sunday The single-vehicle crash happened at the intersection of County Road 600 West and South River Road in Cass County.
Matthew Hughes, 23, of Logansport, was driving a 2013 Honda east on South River Road when he went off the roadway at the intersection with 600 West and struck a tree, the press release states.
He and his passenger, Andrew Dunkin, 24, of Logansport, had to be extricated by firefighters from the vehicle.
Both were flown by helicopter to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne.
The press release states that the sheriff’s department believes alcohol to be a factor in the crash.
Responding agencies included Clinton Township Fire Department, Logansport Fire Department and Phoenix Ambulance Service.
The sheriff’s department continues to investigate the accident, and anyone with information about either Cass County accident should contact the Cass County Sheriff’s Office at 574-753-7800.
The accidents earlier last week included a death and three injured in Idaville on Tuesday afternoon and three injured near Peru Friday morning.
In Idaville, a transport bus driven west by Paige Schwartz crossed the center line of U.S. 24 just inside the town limits and struck a semi-truck going east head-on.
A passenger in the bus, Lora E. Anderson, 49, of Monticello, died on the scene, and two other passengers were taken to I.U. White Memorial Hospital in Monticello.
Schwartz, of Kentland, is still at South Bend Memorial Hospital in the ICU unit.
No immediate information was available on how serious her condition is, and additional information was not available because of Columbus Day.
The semi driver, Sandeep Singh of New York, was treated at I.U. White Memorial and released.
The Peru accident happened about 10:15 a.m. Friday at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Business 31, which goes through downtown Peru.
Pamela Langenkamp, 52, of Celine, Ohio, was driving a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee northbound on U.S. 31, approached a red light and didn’t stop.
At the light, she hit a vehicle driven by Bradford Shelly, who was stopped at the light in a 2015 GMC Acadia that then hit Michael Bozell, 41, of Indianapolis, who was in a 2010 Ford F-150.
Langenkamp had life threatening injuries and was taken by Lutheran medical helicopter to Fort Wayne.
Shelly and his passenger, Robyn Shelley, 39, both of Indianapolis, were taken to a local hospital.
No information was available from State Police on their conditions.