ROCHESTER — James Rans, 72, Rochester, died from blunt force trauma injuries following a three-vehicle crash on US 31 at Old US 31, Saturday, Sept. 18. The crash occurred at approximately 2 p.m. in the northbound lane.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office reports the preliminary investigation shows Rans’ GMC Sonoma was northbound on Old US 31/Southway when he crossed northbound US 31 and was struck by a Dodge Journey driven by Stephanie Vandermolden, 46, Michigan.
Vandermolden’s vehicle struck the Rans vehicle on the passenger side, which caused Rans’ vehicle to roll on its side, partially ejecting Rans. As the result of the crash, one or both vehicles then hit a southbound vehicle driven by Nathan Crull, 66, Rochester. Crull was stopped at the intersection waiting to cross the northbound lane.
A passenger in Crull’s vehicle, Margaret Doran, Rochester, was injured. She was transported from the scene and flown by air ambulance to Lutheran Hospital, Fort Wayne. Her condition is not available. Crull, Vandermolden and passengers in Vandermolden’s vehicle were checked by medics on scene and were treated and released.
The preliminary investigation revealed Rans failed to yield the right-away and crossed into the path of Vandermolden’s vehicle. It was also determined that Rans was not wearing a seatbelt, which may have reduced his injuries and not caused him to be ejected from the vehicle.
The crash is still under investigation by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office along with the Fulton County Coroner’s Office.
Assisting the sheriff’s and coroner’s offices were the Rochester Fire Department, Lutheran EMS, and Samaritan Air Ambulance