Man killed, officer injured after early morning crash in Osceola

Published: Jun. 3, 2020 at 6:32 AM EDT
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A man is dead following a crash into a local business in Osceola.

Police were called to Ash Road and Vistula Road around 2:16 a.m. Wednesday.

16 News Now learned the driver crashed into Midway Bait and Tackle shop. Both the building and the car then caught on fire. As a result, the man inside the car died.

One officer received treatment at a hospital for lacerations to the hand. The officer was injured after trying to get the driver out the car.

Glen Wheeler, owner of Midway Bait and Tackle, says despite his business being deemed as a total loss, his fishing-focused business is far from his biggest fear.

"I don't care about the building. I hate that someone died here," Wheeler says.

However, Wheeler says he is not shocked someone crashed into his building because it's happen more than a dozen times before.

"This is the 15th time the building has been hit since I owned it and I bought the place in 1999," Wheeler says.

Wheeler adds the danger on Ash Road has existed for years causing wreck after wreck.

"If you stick around long enough, you might witness one (a crash) happen," Wheeler told 16 News Now's Ibrahim Samra Wednesday afternoon.

Shockingly, and hours later, Wheeler was right. Another crash had occurred at the very same intersection on the very same day. Both drivers were sent to the hospital for minor injuries.

Wheeler says he has been in touch with St. Joseph County officials to help make the intersection a safer place for drivers.

"We are actually talking to them right now. They're going to be doing some rezoning so we are going to sit down and see what we can do to get things straightened out," Wheeler says.

16 News Now reached out to the St. Joseph County Department of Infrastructure, Planning & Growth to find out if new changes are being considered for Ash Road & CR-16.

County Engineer Jessica Clark responded with the following statement:

"The incident remains under review by the Sheriff and I do not have any specific information at this time other than it appears the driver was traveling west on CR 16 and failed to stop at the stop sign on CR 16 at Ash Road."

The vehicle, in the single vehicle fatal crash, is registered to a male individual from South Bend. Officials have not identified the driver.

The St. Joseph County Coroner's office is assisting with the investigation. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Stay with 16 News Now as we continue to bring you the latest information.

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