By 1ST SGT. CHAD HILL
Public Information Office, Kosciusko County F.A.C.T. Team
PIERCETON — Kosciusko County officials are continuing to investigate a fiery four-vehicle traffic crash that occurred Friday afternoon that injured three people and closed a portion of U.S. 30 for several hours. One driver is in serious condition with internal and head injuries, another suffered second degree burns, and the third suffered a possible leg fracture.
Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Deputies and emergency personnel responded at 3:10 p.m. to the intersection of U.S. 30 and SR 13 13 in regards to several 9-1-1 reports of an accident involving two semitractor/trailers. Responders arrived and found one of the semi-tractor/trailers and a passenger vehicle had become engulfed in flames due to the vehicular crash.
Kosciusko County F.A.C.T. team members stated a preliminary investigation into the crash has determined that a semitractor/trailer driven by Larry A. Schulz, 67, Lincoln, Neb., had been westbound on U.S. 30 approaching the intersection of SR. 13, when he ran directly into the rear portion of a Dodge Neon that was being driven by Jeremy Noland, 23, Columbus, Ohio, who was stopped for a red traffic light. The impact caused Noland’s vehicle to then strike the side of a second semi tractor/trailer driven by Gregory L. Reese, 37, Claypool. Noland’s vehicle then burst into flames, as did the side of Schulz’s loaded trailer. Noland, and his passenger, Crista Noland, 22, were pulled from their burning vehicle by an unknown passing motorist and Tyler Rothhaar, 20, Ligonier. A fourth driver, Joshua M. Watts, 40, Portland, also received minor damage to his Jeep as a result of the initial impact.
Jeremy Noland was transported to Kosciusko Community Hospital, Warsaw in serious condition with internal and head injuries. Crista Noland was also transported to K.C.H. with second degree burns to her legs, and was listed in serious but stable condition. Gregory Reese was transported to K.C.H. with a possible leg fracture. Officers noted that even with his injury, Reese was able to drive the semitractor/trailer(tanker), which was transporting gasoline, away from the impact area that had become an inferno. Larry Schulz and Joshua Watts were purportedly not injured.
Officers stated the crash is still currently under investigation. The Kosciusko County F.A.C.T. team was assisted at the scene by members of the Pierceton Police and Fire Department, North Webster EMS and Fire Department, Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory, Lutheran Kosciusko EMS, Winona Police Department, and the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department.
Related: Breaking Accident On SR 13 And US 30