PIERCETON – Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating an off-road vehicle crash that occurred early Saturday night, April 11, east of Ridinger Lake.
Kosciusko County Central Dispatch received a 911 call just after 7:40 p.m. about an ORV crash involving an injury and a report that the driver fled the scene on the ORV.
Preliminary investigations indicate that a white 2014 Polaris Ranger was being operated by Joel Zehner, 39, on EMS R4 Lane when the crash occurred. A man believed to be the passenger fell out of the ORV as it made a turn. The ORV rolled to its side pinning the male passenger.
A passerby assisted in rolling the ORV over and began CPR on the passenger. He was then airlifted to Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne.
The driver fled the scene on the wrecked ORV.
Whitley County Sheriff’s Deputies found the abandoned ORV 3 miles from the crash scene at Deniston Natural Resource Area on Old Road 30 at the Kosciusko and Whitley County Line.
A Whitley County K9 unit tracked Zehner across the property to a campsite where he displayed a firearm. At about 9:15 p.m. officers were able to talk Zehner into putting the firearm down and was taken into custody.
Units assisting Indiana Conservation Officers at the scene include Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, Whitley County Sheriff’s Department, Pierceton Police Department, North Webster Police Department, Kosciusko County Fatal Crash Team, Warsaw Medic 7, Milford Medic 1, Lutheran Air