By 1st Sgt. Chad D. Hill Public Information Office
KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — Kosciusko County officials are currently investigating a single vehicle crash that occurred today after a high-speed pursuit in the northwest portion of the county.
Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department deputies were notified today at approximately 9:42 a.m. by the Elkhart County dispatch center of an officer pursuing a vehicle southbound on State Road 19 from Kosciusko County Road 1350 North. Shortly afterward, officers were notified that the suspect vehicle had crashed with the driver being ejected into a field.
Kosciusko County Fatal Team/crash team were summoned to the scene and preliminarily determined that the driver, identified as Joshua Alexander Wardlow, 23, South Bend, had attempted to pass a vehicle during the pursuit. Wardlow then lost control of his tan, 2005, Mercury Montego, as he attempted to get back into the southbound lane of State Road 19 near Kosciusko County Road 1050 North. His vehicle left the west side of the roadway, striking a utility pole, and then rolling multiple times at which point he was ejected into a field. Wardlow was airlifted from the scene by Medflight air-ambulance to South Bend Memorial Hospital, in serious condition.
The initial investigation by officers has determined that Wardlow had been in a purported “road-rage” incident as he was traveling southbound on State Road 19 near State Road 119. Nappanee Police officers were notified of the suspect vehicle as he entered into the town limits, and attempted to stop the vehicle, at which point he began to flee. Officers stated that potential charges will be filed for Wardlow’s arrest upon his release from medical care.
The Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office advises that the defendant’s charge is merely an accusation and that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.